Focus on Friends
National Park Service employees are tasked with a big job; to protect and preserve our natural and cultural resources in a way that will leave them unimpaired for future generations. While national parks do an admirable job of upholding their mission and responsibilities, they can’t take care of our irreplaceable natural resources and our nation’s stories and heritage alone.
Many sites across the United States have park partners, or groups that support their local national parks in a variety of ways. Park Friends Groups assist national parks by supporting projects and programs that are as diverse as the parks they work with. A Friends Group might support conservation along a riverfront, or support research and education related to a historical figure’s legacy.
The size and capacity of these groups vary. While there are some large and well-known conservancies and institutes, often a park-based Friends Group operates on a much smaller scale. There are financial and logistical obstacles to overcome…and plenty of red tape to wade through. Yet these groups persevere, dedicated to helping national parks and national park service employees protect their parks and provide the best visitor experience possible.
We plan to highlight the stories of some of these Friends Groups and we’d love to feature the work of YOUR Friends Group. We are all advocates for our national parks and can lift each other up with stories of success. Check back for our first installment of this new series. And email me at if you have a story to share.