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

Project

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. 
Gettysburg maintenance
Assateague Island maintenance
Data Visualization

National Park Deferred Maintenance Needs

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Data Visualization

National Park Deferred Maintenance Needs

With record crowds contributing to wear and tear and federal funding unreliable, the National Park Service is struggling to keep pace with repairs, estimated at $11.6 billion in fiscal year 2017. Use this tool, based on NPS data, to learn more about deferred maintenance at NPS sites across the county, in your state, and at your favorite park.

Harper's Ferry
Harper's Ferry
Article

7 Reasons to Save Our Parks Now

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Article

Our national parks, which welcome hundreds of millions of visitors every year, are in trouble. The National Park Service has a repair backlog of nearly $12 billion. If we want our parks to continue documenting our history, providing world-class recreation opportunities, and bolster local economies, the time to act is now. Here are seven reasons why.

Gettysburg
Gettysburg
Article

Americans Want Congress to Pass National Parks Maintenance Bill

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Article

The vast majority of Americans believe Congress should pass a bill, now pending, to address priority repairs at the 418 national park sites across the country, according to a poll released on Nov. 19.

Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park
Article

Calls Mount for Congress to Fix Our Parks

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Article

The National Park Service serves a critical role as caretaker to an array of park sites that document our nation’s history and heritage and showcase America’s natural splendor. But many of these places are crumbling, eroding, and outdated, affecting visitors’ access and safety. The NPS’ nationwide backlog of repairs was estimated at $11.6 billion as of fiscal year 2017.   

Our Work

mountains
mountains
Take Action
Ask Your Members of Congress to Cosponsor Legislation to Fix Our National Parks
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National Park Service
National Park Service
Article

Jobs Interactive: 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.

Yellowstone landscape
Yellowstone landscape
Fact Sheet

National Park Case Studies

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Fact Sheet

The National Park Service needs almost $12 billion to eliminate its backlog of deferred maintenance. The Pew Charitable Trusts' campaign to restore America's parks has created a series of case studies highlighting examples of repairs needed at our nation's treasures.