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Project

Restore America's Parks

Pew’s work to restore America’s parks seeks to raise awareness about the $11.9 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. 
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.

Article

Investing in Overdue Maintenance at National Parks Could Generate 100,000 Jobs

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Article

Addressing the National Park Service’s (NPS’) nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog would create or support more than 100,000 infrastructure-related jobs, a Pew-commissioned analysis by the Cadmus Group found. This number, based on fiscal year 2018 NPS data, is a reminder of the powerful contribution that national parks make to the U.S. economy.

Fire Tower
Fire Tower
Article

Americans Want Congress to Act to Fix National Parks

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Article

Summer brings a big jump in visitors to national parks, along with a reminder of how many repairs are waiting to be addressed at these sites to ensure safe access for current visitors and protection of American history for future generations.

“This American Land” producer
“This American Land” producer
Article

TV Show Highlights Urgent Need for Repairs at National Parks

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Article

The Pew Charitable Trusts worked with “This American Land” to raise public awareness of the need to restore our parks. Legislation is pending in Congress to do just that by investing $6.5 billion over five years to address priority repairs.

Our Work

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Article

Report Offers Innovative Ways to Help Fix Our National Parks

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Article

America’s National Park System protects our natural treasures and cultural history while offering ample opportunity for recreation, education, and contemplation—from hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and exploring the country’s origins at Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia to reflecting on the fight for equality at Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta.

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.