Restore America's Parks

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Pew’s work to restore America’s parks seeks to raise awareness about the $11.3 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. 

Our Work

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  • Job Creation Potential If We Restore Our National Parks

    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... Read More

  • Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

    At the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, visitors can explore some of the places that helped shape the civil rights leader’s life. The 38-acre park in the Sweet Auburn community, which includes the gravesites of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, attracts more than 673,000 visitors annually. Read More

  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park

    Visitors to Chaco Culture National Historical Park traverse a rocky, 20-mile roadway to reach its entrance andare rewarded with ancient, dun-colored ruins that blend into a quiet canyon. This setting was a thriving trade andpolitical center for thousands of Chacoan people from A.D. 850-1250. 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. 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