two children sitting on a dock looking out over a lake with mountains in the distance

Project

Restore America's Parks

Restore America's Parks
Pew’s work to restore America’s parks seeks to raise awareness about the $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog facing the National Park Service (NPS) and implement long-term solutions to address the challenge.

The initiative collaborates with national partner groups, as well as state and local organizations, to effect change with Congress, the administration, and the NPS. Pew believes policymakers should:

  • Ensure that infrastructure initiatives include provisions to address park maintenance.
  • Provide dedicated annual federal funding for national park repairs.
  • Enact innovative policy reforms to ensure that deferred maintenance does not escalate.
  • Provide more highway funding for NPS maintenance needs.
  • Create more opportunities for public-private collaboration and donations to help restore park infrastructure. 
Yellowstone repairs
Yellowstone landscape
Speeches & Testimony

Pew Opposes NPS Proposal to Raise Park Entrance Fees, Presents Alternatives

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Speeches & Testimony

The Pew Charitable Trusts submitted comments to the National Park Service (NPS) on Nov. 28 regarding the agency’s proposals to increase entrance fees and commercial permit fees. Pew opposes raising entrance fees at 17 national park sites to $70 during peak seasons and suggested that the NPS consider alternative approaches for generating revenue while maintaining visitor access. Pew supports the agency’s proposal to increase fees for commercial vehicles.

Park photo
Park photo
Article

Tech Challenge to Fix Our National Parks

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Article

The Pew Charitable Trusts is turning to technology experts to help fix our national parks. More than 100 participants in a Parks & Tech Challenge will gather in San Francisco on Feb. 10 and 11 to brainstorm ways technology can address overdue park repairs. 

Our Work

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Do you know which U.S. president is the only one to have been a park ranger?

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Gerald Ford described his time as a seasonal ranger at Yellowstone National Park as "one of the greatest summers of my life." TWEET
National Park Service
National Park Service
Article

Job Potential in Restoring Our National Parks

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Article

Our national parks are American treasures. They not only preserve significant historical sites and natural resources, but they also are economic engines for local communities and states. In 2016, the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS) drew record crowds: 331 million visits. These visitors spent more than $18 billion in communities adjacent to parks, which in turn supported 318,150 jobs and nearly $35 billion in national economic output.

Case Studies
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Repairs needed at our nation's treasures

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America’s National Parks: Upkeep Required
Podcast

U.S. National Parks: Upkeep Required

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Podcast

America’s National Park System spans more than 400 sites and received more than 331 million visits in 2016. Supported by a complex infrastructure—including roads, sewer systems, buildings, restrooms, and trails—the park system is beginning its second century in need of rejuvenation.

Trust Magazine
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Why America's National Parks Need Help

Why America's National Parks Need Help
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Why America's National Parks Need Help

Starved of funding, our national parks have fallen into grave disrepair over the past few decades. The dawning of the National Park Service’s second century presents us with an urgent challenge: to rejuvenate America’s “best idea.”

Why America's National Parks Need Help