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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  • 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

  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. In Thomas Jefferson’s words, this land where the Potomac River cuts through the Blue Ridge Mountains is “one of the most stupendous scenes in nature.”1 George Washington, Meriwether Lewis, John Brown, “Stonewall” Jackson,... Read More

  • Pew Praises House Bill to Fund Maintenance of National Parks

    The Pew Charitable Trusts commends Representatives Will Hurd (R-TX), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), and Dave Reichert (R-WA) for introducing the National Park Service Legacy Act in the House of Representatives today. The bill mirrors legislation in the Senate sponsored in March by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and would establish a fund to dedicate federal... 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