Infrastructure Groups Build Case to Fix National Parks

Letter to Congress emphasizes job creation and asks for dedicated funding

Infrastructure Groups Build Case to Fix National Parks
national parks

A restroom at Yosemite National Park in California was closed because needed repairs hadn’t been made.

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Organizations that have helped to build our country’s infrastructure have come together to ask Congress to provide dedicated annual funding for a core piece of American heritage: our national parks. More than 180 groups representing engineers, architects, planners, and trade and professional associations are asking lawmakers to provide the funding the National Park Service needs to address $11.6 billion in overdue repairs. 

The organizations sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to address the maintenance backlog, which includes conditions that these groups’ members encounter every day: crumbling roads, collapsed sewer lines, outdated electrical systems, and deteriorating historic buildings. Many of the issues are degrading the visitor experience, and some pose serious safety hazards. 

Investing in park maintenance can restore the affected sites and generate jobs. A Pew-commissioned analysis found that fully addressing the national park maintenance backlog could create or support more than 110,000 jobs.Congress should act now to pass legislation to provide dedicated annual funding for park maintenance. It’s the right thing to do for the parks, the economy, and current and future generations of Americans.

Download the letter here.

Marcia Argust directs The Pew Charitable Trusts' campaign to restore America's parks.

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Job Potential in Restoring Our National Parks

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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.