Restore America's Parks

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Pew’s work to restore America’s parks seeks to raise awareness about the 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. 

Our Work

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  • Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

    In 1965, many counties in Alabama still used literacy tests, intimidation, and other techniques to prevent African-Americans from registering to vote. In Dallas County, only 2 percent of African-Americans were on voter rolls, and in the county next to it—Lowndes—none were registered. Civil rights activists, seeking to call attention to this injustice, initiated nonviolent protests in... Read More

  • Acadia National Park

    More than 3 million people last year crossed a small causeway linking Maine’s central coast to Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. They were drawn to its rocky shorelines, spruce-fir forests, and towering granite peaks, including the tallest point on the Atlantic coast. A network of hiking trails and roads cuts through most of the park, giving visitors a chance to spot bald... Read More

  • Push to Restore National Parks Gains Support From Local Governments

    More than 75 municipalities and counties around the country have passed resolutions calling on Congress to provide more predictable resources to fix our parks. These areas, from Seward, Alaska, to Seattle to Barren County, Kentucky, understand the importance of park tourism and recreation in supporting gateway communities and jobs. Read More

Case Studies

Repairs needed at our nation’s treasures

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Trust Magazine: Why America's National Parks Need Help

Starved of funding, our national parks have fallen into grave disrepair over the past few decades, with a maintenance backlog that now exceeds $12 billion. The dawning of the National Park Service’s second century presents us with an urgent challenge: to rejuvenate America’s “best idea.”

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Media Contact

Monique O'Grady

Officer, Communications

202.540.6336