National Park Foundation

National Park Foundation
National Park Foundation
NPF Logo Brown - sm.png
Founder(s) Lady Bird Johnson and Laurance Rockefeller
Type 501(c)(3)
Founded December 18, 1967
Location Washington, DC
Area served U.S. National Parks

Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation (NPF) is the official charity of America’s nearly 400 national parks. Funds contributed to the Foundation are invested directly into the national parks. Working in partnership with the National Park Service, the Foundation helps connect all Americans to the parks, and seeks to ensure that the parks are preserved for the generations who will follow. The National Park Foundation distributes vital grants and program support directly to the national parks across America.


Mission statement

The National Park Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service, enriches America’s national parks and programs through private support, safeguarding our heritage and inspiring generations of national park enthusiasts.

National programs and initiatives

Working closely with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation makes grants that connect all Americans with their national parks. The Foundation is deeply committed to engaging the country's youth into a lifelong experience with the parks.

Electronic Field Trips

The National Park Foundation’s Electronic Field Trips [1] turn national parks into classrooms that help students understand and appreciate the complexities of the natural world and of the historic events that have shaped America. Millions of school children around the nation and world have participated in Electronic Field Trips, virtually visiting sites including the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall of 2009, and an upcoming visit to Bryce Canyon in May 2010.

Registration and participation in the Electronic Field Trip is entirely free – which is a wonderful benefit to so many schools that have faced deep budget cuts in recent years. With registration, educators and broadcast partners gain free access to the live broadcast from the national park on the day of the Electronic Field Trip, opportunities for students to ask questions of park rangers during the live broadcast via email, and access to educational materials and games prior to the Electronic Field Trip to prep students.

All of the National Park Foundation's Electronic Field Trips are available for viewing anytime at

Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign

The passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93, whose heroic and selfless acts on September 11, 2001, saved countless American lives, will be forever remembered at the Flight 93 National Memorial[2], a 2,200-acre (8.9 km2) national park. The Memorial will be a place for individuals to learn about the events of September 11, 2001, and to find meaning and inspiration in their experience.

The Flight 93 National Memorial [3] is being planned, designed and built through the collaborative efforts of a unique partnership between family members, federally-appointed commissioners, task force members and federal agencies. The National Park Service acts as the long-term steward of this sacred site. In April 2007, the National Park Foundation was chosen by the Partners of Flight 93 to serve as the lead fundraising partner to implement the national capital campaign, “A Common Field One Day…A Field of Honor Forever”, to build the Flight 93 National Memorial.

America's Best Idea Grants

Inspired by Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the National Park Foundation’s America’s Best Idea Grants [4] seek to reach traditionally underserved groups, often communities of color and young people, and empower them to create strong, lasting bonds with their national parks. The spirit of these grants continues the tradition of a diverse American public working together to preserve and enhance the legacy of “America’s Best Idea.”

Parks Climate Challenge

The National Park Foundation's Parks Climate Challenge trains high school aged leaders in the science and effects of climate change through an immersion experience in national parks. These young leaders take what they learn in the parks and apply that to their own communities, beginning a ripple effect of learning and enthusiasm for our national parks.

African American Experience Fund

National parks are rich with African American history, from historic sites that preserve the legacies of the Tuskegee Airmen and Frontiersmen at Nicodemus, to those that tell the stories of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, George Washington Carver and more. These and hundreds of other national parks and historic sites speak to the important role of African Americans in building America.

The mission of the African American Experience Fund [5] of the National Park Foundation is to connect Americans from all walks of life to the considerable contributions of African Americans throughout history by raising private funds to support educational, volunteer and community engagement programs in national parks and historic sites that celebrate and tell these stories.


  • Secretary of the Interior - ex officio (Chair of the Board)
  • Director of the National Park Service - ex officio (Secretary of the Board)
  • no less than six private citizens of the United States appointed by the Secretary of the Interior

The private citizens of the United States appointed by the Secretary of the Interior whose shall serve terms of six years. Members of the Board are volunteer leaders who serve as the Foundation’s chief fundraisers and are active participants in governance and policy overseeing total assets of more than $70 million.

The Foundation does not receive federal appropriations.

Board members


Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Chris Sullivan, Vice-Chair
  • Neil Mulholland, President and CEO
  • Jonathan Jarvis, Secretary
Director, National Park Service
  • Charles Peck, Treasurer

Board members

  • Nancy W. Adams
  • Ellen S. Alberding
  • Al Baldwin
  • Vin Cipolla
  • John C. Cushman, III
  • Kirk Dornbush
  • Edward W. Easton, Sr.
  • Carole Shorenstein Hays
  • Jeremy Jaech
  • Karen A. Johnson
  • Jay I. Kislak
  • Peter Knight
  • Ellen Malcolm
  • John L. Nau, III
  • Charles Peck
  • Roxanne Quimby
  • John Seiter
  • David Evans Shaw
  • Bryan S. Traubert

Vice Chair Emeriti

Former First Lady Laura Bush served as Honorary Chair from 2005 - 2009.

Former board members include Dayton Duncan, John V. Faraci, General Tommy Franks, Jamie Gorelick, Marian S. Heiskell, Robert L. Johnson, Ignacio E. Lozano, Jr., Donald Rumsfeld, Charles Schwab, and Roger Staubach.


External links

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