Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
There are a lot of different ways to support your favorite National Park. Some of them are fairly obvious. Others, not so much. Here are ten ways you can support your favorite park.
1. Donate Money
This is the obvious way to support the National Parks, but there are a variety of ways to do this. You can make a one-time donation or continue to give monthly or annually. Gifts to the National Parks can also be made in memory of someone or to mark a special date.
Sometimes it is easier to write a check than it is to give up your time. But each year, volunteers donate millions of dollars worth of work to the National Parks by improving trails, removing waste, and contributing to visitor education. It’s also a great excuse to make a trip to your favorite park.
3. Buy some sweet gear
Check out the See America campaign, a revival of a classic poster campaign that encourages to get out and explore this amazing country. You can purchase t-shirts and other gear on the website or check out one of the art shows around the country.
4. Eat Chocolate
Salazon Chocolate Co., a premium chocolate maker known as the first company to craft salted chocolate, has just announced a new Trail Series of chocolates. Many of the long trails run through National Park land at some point, and by eating chocolate you can help support those trails! Appalachian Trail lovers can purchase Salazon’s Caramel bar. Pacific Crest Trail die-hards can purchase the coffee bar and Continental Divide Trail fans can grab the almond chocolate bar. The Trail Series bars can be found at natural food stores and outdoor retailers nationwide for $3.99.
5. Sign up for trips
The National Parks Foundation has teamed up with Globus to create trips to help travelers experience the National Parks while also giving back to the parks. Anytime travelers book one of the trips to the National Parks, Globus makes a donation to the NPS at no additional cost.
6. Be an artist
The National Parks Service has a program that allows artists of all kinds to stay in National Parks in order to create and be inspired in varied settings. Whether you are a painter, writer, musician, photographer or videographer, you are encouraged to take advantage of our National Parks and to share that artwork with everyone.
7. Work there
Yes, your job could be to go to your favorite National Park every day. Check out the current job listings and keep checking back for potential future openings where you want to work.
8. Give your opinion
Let’s face it, some of us can’t help but spout our opinions all the time. As it turns out, your opinion can actually support the National Parks. The NPS is always looking for public involvement and welcome public comment on new projects and proposals. Check the NPS website to see what is going on in the parks by you.
9. Create your own fundraiser
There are countless raise to raise money on your own for the National Parks. Host a bake sale or yard sale. Start a 5k with a portion of the proceeds going to the National Parks or be sponsored to run a marathon. The only limitations here are the ones you place on yourself.
10. Share it
Finally, one of the best ways to support your favorite park is to simply visit it with someone who has never been there. The park has been preserved and is continuing to be preserved so it can be appreciated by us now and by future generations. By sharing the park you are sharing an appreciation and respect for our national park system as a whole that will hopefully be passed down to future generations.