THE NATURE FUND: SOLUTIONS FOR EMERGING PROBLEMS
Financial support provided by the Nature Fund for National Parks will allow parks to achieve a higher level of scientific excellence, thereby ensuring that management decisions are grounded in sound science. The Nature Fund solicits funds and in-kind materials to address high priority issues within parks and will place emphasis on projects that:
- address emerging concerns;
- provide new information, methodologies, or capacity;
- strategically position national parks to respond to resource issues;
- utilize an interdisciplinary approach on a landscape-level, across several parks;
- are relevant to multiple parks; and
- cultivate the next generation of park scientists and stewards.
There are many conservation organizations that work to support national parks in a variety of ways. Some buy and protect land, some are advocates, some help specific parks, and some focus on other aspects of the National Park Service mission. The Nature Fund is unique but complementary, filling an important gap by focusing on:
- raising funds and in-kind support for science and stewardship projects and programs;
- providing expertise and partnerships to support scientific research and stewardship; and
- increasing awareness and understanding of the role of science and stewardship in protecting parks’ natural resources.
The projects supported by the Nature Fund will advance resource protection by preventing environmental damage, restoring species and ecosystems, and helping park species and ecosystems adapt to change. Example projects may focus on topics such as:
- how plants and animals are responding to a changing climate over broad geographic regions;
- the vulnerability of coastal parks to sea rise and storms; and
- strategies for restoring iconic species to parks where they were once native.
Nature Fund projects will deliver scientific findings that will allow for informed decisions and management actions that will ultimately protect plant and animal biodiversity as well as maintain important ecological functions. All projects will be carried out by qualified individuals, organizations, and institutions, including scientists from the National Park Service, universities, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Funding will also be provided for students, including graduate and post-graduate fellowships.
The Nature Fund for National Parks seeks to create a vibrant public-private partnership that can help ensure that the natural resources of the national parks—the essence of national parks—will endure “unimpaired for future generations.”*
*Quote from 1916 Act of Congress creating the National Park Service.