Support for National Parks

NPS administrative histories look at the history of federal parks and the National Park Service as public programs and as a public trust. They analyze individual parks and their establishment and administration, as well as NPS programs and policies.

The history of the NPS is rich in possibilities for anyone interested in environmental history, natural resource conservation, federal programs for historic preservation and archeology, public attitudes toward historical memory and commemoration, debates about the uses of public land, and the nature of federal agencies and programs over the past century. From wilderness designations to the setting aside of historic sites, the NPS is shaped by and, in turn, helps to shape ideas about this country's natural and cultural heritage.

As a government agency, the NPS has reflected and participated in national discussions about the environment and its relationship to society. Parks provide specific evidence about the history of conservation and management of natural resources and about the economic, ecological, and aesthetic dimensions of the public lands. Parks illuminate changes in the very concept of nature and wilderness, the economic interests involved in the setting aside and development of public lands, and ways Americans experience nature and wilderness in shifting patterns of tourism and recreation.

The NPS also reflects changes in the kinds of historical and cultural memory we as a nation have felt worthy of preservation. NPS historic sites illuminate a variety of cultural symbols and processes of historical and cultural change. They show how we have sought to commemorate the past and establish or reaffirm aspects of a national identity. They also provide direct, tangible evidence about the past that can challenge visitors and scholars to seek new ways of understanding human activities and interests, prehistoric and historic.

Park managers bear significant responsibilities for decisions about park resources that affect how future generations will see this multifaceted natural and cultural heritage. Administrative histories inform them about the decision-making of their predecessors in the NPS, and about how NPS decisions have reflected and reflect broader social, economic, cultural, and political trends and interests.

Research possibilities abound in park-related aspects of the history of ideas about nature and culture, and the sometimes-contending interests of people who have influenced and implemented federal programs for the National Park System. We are seeking partnerships, advice, and assistance from park-goers, scholars, and others with interests in parks, conservation and preservation. As of June 2001, only about 60 of the 388 parks administered by the NPS had current administrative histories. NPS national programs for archeology, concessions, land acquisition, and recreation also present research opportunities.

Source: National Park Service

Foundation and philanthropic support for national parks from around the Web.

National Park Foundation and National Park Service Announce $40 Million Gift to Meet ...

The first national park in the US will soon have more affordable housing thanks to a $40 million donation from anonymous donors. The National Park Foundation and the National Park Service...more

A Gripping Journey To World Heritage Sites Threatened By Climate Change

"It's an apocalyptic disaster. It's on its knees." That's the assessment of the governor of the Veneto region, which includes Venice, after the Italian city was hit by its worst flooding in 50...more

Applications Now Open for Isle Royale National Park Artists-In-Residence Program

For more than 30 years, artists have been visiting Isle Royale National Park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of the park's Artist-in-Residence program. Now it's time for artists of all...more

Liberty Foundation Golf Invitational Tournament Raises $60000 for Six Local Charities

When it comes to giving back to the communities in which it does business, the Liberty Foundation is no stranger to putting its money where its mouth is. In the US Virgin Islands, for instance,...more

New Mid North National Park a Step Closer

An Australian gorge that's fed by underground springs is about to become a national park. The Worlds End Gorge, near the town of Burra in South Australia, contains several large, permanent...more

How Climate Change, Portuguese Monuments and the Department of State Are Interrelated

An "unprecedented scientific investigation" is underway at two of Lisbon's most famous landmarksand it's all about climate change. The 500-year-old Jer ? 'nimos Monastery and the 16th-century Bel...more

Park Service Taps Nonprofit Fund to Buy 2 Rodanthe Houses

"They knew the risks, now pay the piper." That's what one resident of North Carolina's Outer Banks wrote to the Washington Post after the National Park Service agreed to buy two homes in Rodanthe...more

Park Trails to Be Built Starting Next Year

For more than 40 years, visitors to Indiana's Indiana Dunes National Park have wished for a multi-use trail that would offer easy access to the park's attractions, the Times of Northwest Indiana...more

Youth Ambassadors Program Kicks Off at Uva

The University of Virginia's Center for Politics kicked off its Caribbean Youth Ambassadors program this week, CBS 19 reports. The program features 16 high-achieving youth leaders and three...more

New Adventure Playground Opens at Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta

Kids in Australia can now play in one of the country's biggest nature play spaces. The Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta has opened its new, $13.9 million adventure playground, which...more

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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