U.S. National Parks

9 Nonprofits that Support the U.S. National Parks 

Credit: Pixabay

9 Nonprofits for the Environment and the National Parks 

The turkey has been eaten, and the first of the decorations are up. Now it is time to give to a cause that is meaningful to you. For those who love the outdoors, support one of the nonprofits that protects public land.  In addition to funds, you can donate your time. Both ways benefit the public lands of the U.S. including its National Parks and National Forests. Some nonprofits protect the natural world while helping students or artists work in the national parks. Other organizations help purchase land in peril to preserve it for future generations. Here are the best foundations and nonprofits that benefit the National Parks.

National Park Service

If you want to spend your summer in a park, the National Park Service welcomes volunteers. It’s an ideal way to donate your time. Programs are available throughout the NPS system and range from one-day events to year-round programs.

Become a National Park VIP, or Volunteers in the Park. Volunteer positions range from campground hosts to visitor center volunteers. Volunteers with 250 hours per year get an NPS annual park pass. Some opportunities include complimentary campsites.


National Park Foundation

This is the official nonprofit of the U.S. National Park Service. It has a charter from the U.S. Congress.

Its mission statement is to  “further the conservation of natural, scenic, historic, scientific, educational, inspirational, or recreational resources for future generations of Americans”.

Lady Bird Johnson founded the National Park Foundation in 1968.

National Park Foundation

National Parks Conservation Association

It’s the only independent nonpartisan member organization that’s devoted to the advocacy of the National Park System. Its mission statement is “to protect and enhance America’s National Park System for present and future generations”.

Founded in 1919 by Stephen Mather and Robert Sterling Yard.

National Parks Conservation Association

National Park Trust

It is a land acquisition and environmental education nonprofit that acquires the missing pieces inside or adjacent to national parks. It also brings kids from under-served communities to the parks. Its mission statement is to “preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow”. 

It was founded in 1983.

I am a volunteer Ambassador for the National Park Trust.

National Park Trust
SCA volunteer
Ready to head out for a summer volunteering with the SCA. Credit: Spencer Ford

Student Conservation Association

It’s a nonprofit organization dedicated “to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment 

Founded in 1957 by Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putman.

My son has volunteered for the SCA summer program.

Student Conservation Association

National Parks Art Foundation

It is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to bringing artistic experiences to National Park Service sites”. It offers Artist-in-Residence programs across the NPS. like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park.   

I was named a finalist for the 2021 NPAF Dry Tortugas Artist in Residence program.

National Parks Art Foundation

Individual Park’s Associations

Some National Parks have their own foundations that support programming and conservation in individual parks. For a list, head to the NPS site. 

The Grand Canyon Conservancy is one such organization and benefits of the Grand Canyon National Park. My son attended a week-long Leave-No-Trace camping and hiking trip into the canyon with the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute.

The Sierra Club

Founded by naturalist John Muir in 1892, its mission statement is “to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives”.

It organizes outdoor activities on the West Coast. Though it is known for its political activism for environmental causes, like damn projects impacting national parks. 

The Sierra Club

The Nature Conservancy 

Founded in 1951, it is a global environmental organization. Its mission statement “is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends”. To date, it has protected more than 119,000,000 acres of land. 

The Nature Conservancy

Global Alliance of National Parks

The mission of the Global Alliance of National Parks is to “inspire and develop conservation and protection of the world’s natural resources” by education and promotion. Find travel guides on its site.

The Global Alliance of National Parks
You love the National Parks and you want to support the National Parks. Here's Nonprofits that benefit the U.S. National Park Service with your donation of time or money. Add your contribution to work on conservation, land acquistion, youth opportunity and visitor services. What orgazations benefit the National Parks | Nonprofits that serve the U.S. National Parks #NationalParks #Giving
credit: Pixabay


Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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