6 Diligent Groups Working To Preserve And Restore American Parks

There are so many beautiful natural areas in America that it's probably impossible to see them all before you die. And to make sure future generations can enjoy them as well, there are many organizations working diligently to protect these areas, whether large open spaces or small neighborhood parks. These six groups are working hard to ensure everyone can enjoy the wonders of nature. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Diligent Groups Working To Preserve And Restore American Parks

Organization Headquarters Focus
Yosemite Conservancy San Francisco and El Portal, CA Providing grants to Yosemite National Park
Grand Canyon Trust Flagstaff, AZ Protecting and restoring the Colorado Plateau
National Park Trust Rockville, MD Preserving parks across the country and educating the next generation of park stewards
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Pittsburgh, PA Restoring municipal and community parks in the city of Pittsburgh
Forest Park Forever St. Louis, MO Works with the city of St. Louis to maintain and restore Forest Park
Park Pride Atlanta, GA Promotes community revitalization through park projects in Atlanta

The Beauty Of The Grand Canyon

Are National Parks Free To Visit?

Although they are managed by the National Park Service, an arm of the federal government, it isn't always free to visit national parks. With upwards of 400 sites and over five dozen with the words "National Park" in their names, you'll need to research the specific area you'll be visiting to determine how much it will cost to do the activities you're planning on. However, there are five free days on the calendar when anyone can visit the parks, and if you're hoping to spend a lot of time outdoors this year, the $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass provides entrance to more than 2,000 areas, including every park on the list.

Summer In Missouri's Forest Park

In Depth

From coast to coast, the United States boasts an impressive collection of parks, teeming with nature, animals, and opportunities to learn. Each year, however, it seems these green spaces face an increasing number of threats, including things like pollution, land development, and decreased government funding. If you're interested in hearing about the people working to protect these places, then here are, in no particular order, six groups working to preserve and restore American parks.

At #1 is Yosemite Conservancy. With its roots in the early 1920s, the organization aims to encourage people to support the preservation of Yosemite National Park, while also enhancing the experience of its many visitors. With the help of its donors, it has provided over 119 million dollars in grants to projects dedicated to improving the park and developing educational programs.

Having completed over 600 projects to date, the conservancy works in conjunction with the National Park Service to identify projects of greatest need that also align with its mission. The group offers a variety of ways to experience Yosemite, including customizable adventures, classes at its Happy Isles Art and Nature Center, and shows at its own theater. Those who wish to support the conservancy in other ways can make an online donation or even purchase a Yosemite special-interest license plate.

Having completed over 600 projects to date, the conservancy works in conjunction with the National Park Service to identify projects of greatest need that also align with its mission.

Coming in at #2 is the Grand Canyon Trust, founded in 1985. Initially dedicated to preserving the Grand Canyon National Park, the organization now works to protect and restore the entire Colorado Plateau, which contains the world's largest concentration of protected landscapes and comprises the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Its staff of over thirty employees works out of offices from Flagstaff to Denver, and also in the field.

The trust has a multi-faceted approach to its ambitious mission, which includes working to create sustainable energy, safeguarding lands from development and pollution, and restoring watershed health. To accomplish this, the trust designs and utilizes its own maps to tell stories of its work, partners with Native American leaders to promote sustainable growth, and sponsors a variety of ongoing data-collecting projects, among other things. If you're interested in supporting the Grand Canyon Trust, consider taking part in one of its research or land stewardship volunteering opportunities, or signing up to receive periodic action alerts to your inbox.

At #3 is National Park Trust, a land conservancy and environmental nonprofit established in 1983. NPT has two main goals: to preserve today's green spaces and create stewards for the future, which it accomplishes by identifying areas of land that can be acquired and developing opportunities for kids to experience America's national parks. Since its inception, NPT has completed numerous acquisition, restoration, and mitigation projects that have resulted in the protection of over 30,000 acres of land.

Since its inception, NPT has completed numerous acquisition, restoration, and mitigation projects that have resulted in the protection of over 30,000 acres of land.

Beyond its successful preservation program, NPT also strives to connect young people to the many national parks in the United States. In 2009, it created the Buddy Bison Program, which funds and plans trips for students in elementary and middle schools in under-served communities. It also celebrates an annual Kids to Parks Day on the third Saturday of May, an event that promotes outdoor recreation and STEM and history education. Those who are interested in supporting NPT can make donations online or purchase goods from its virtual store.

At #4 is Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Founded in 1996 by a group of concerned citizens, PPC has raised over 110 million dollars and has completed seventeen major improvement projects. Partnering with the City of Pittsburgh and the local community, PPC aims to revitalize and protect the city's green spaces. The organization prizes advocacy, sustainability, and green infrastructure as it works to improve Pittsburgh's park system's ranking nationwide.

Examples of PPC's many projects range from restoring the Frick Park Gatehouse and revitalizing its surrounding landscape to transforming Schenley Plaza from a parking lot to a five-acre outdoor space. The conservancy is also active in youth education, running numerous programs, like Nature School for those ages three to five and Ecosystem Investigators for seventh- and eighth-grade students. If you want to support PPC's efforts, consider one of its many volunteering opportunities or perhaps donating to its "Plant a Tree" initiative.

Examples of PPC's many projects range from restoring the Frick Park Gatehouse and revitalizing its surrounding landscape to transforming Schenley Plaza from a parking lot to a five-acre outdoor space.

Coming in at #5 is Forest Park Forever, a non-profit conservancy founded in 1986. Working in conjunction with the city of St. Louis and the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, FPF seeks to safeguard its namesake, which spans over 1,300 acres and attracts around 13 million visitors annually. Since its inception, the group has grown to a staff of over forty and has raised, with its partners, over 100 million dollars.

FPF focuses its conservation efforts on a Nature Reserve of nearly 170 acres that hosts a diverse range of plant, animal, and insect species, and also provides "real life" education for its visitors. Other learning opportunities include bird walks and horticulture classes with experts. Those interested in supporting FPF and its mission can become official members, sign up to attend one of its annual events, like a trivia night, or arrange a tribute gift of flowers, a tree, or a bench, in honor of a loved one.

At #6 is Park Pride, which helps communities across Atlanta improve their green spaces. Over the past thirty years, it has supported over 250 outdoor spaces and has provided over 500,000 hours of volunteer service. The organization firmly believes in the transformative power of parks, which not only improve a community's ecological health but also provide economic and social benefits.

Over the past thirty years, it has supported over 250 outdoor spaces and has provided over 500,000 hours of volunteer service.

The organization has a variety of ways that it works toward its mission. It assists in the formation of community gardens, provides matching grants for local groups, and sponsors its Friends of the Park program. Additionally, it pushes a robust set of advocacy platforms and initiatives, which include securing increases to the city's budget for the Parks Department and obtaining commitments from Atlanta City Council members to fund and maintain green spaces. Those interested in supporting the organization can donate online, attend its annual conference, or sign up for one of its volunteering opportunities.