August 25, 2014 – Responding to escalating threats facing the natural resources in National Parks, a group of dedicated retirees from the National Park Service today announced the establishment of The Nature Fund for National Parks. The Fund will raise private donations to support scientific research and science-based management in National Parks.
The Nature Fund for National Parks focuses exclusively on protecting natural resources in parks. “Many organizations assist parks through general fundraising and advocacy,” says Nature Fund President Christine Shaver, ”but the Nature Fund is dedicated to protecting and preserving the very best nature has to offer in a time of declining park budgets and unprecedented threats to biodiversity, natural systems, and scenic beauty. “
The Fund is supported by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, welcomed the Nature Fund as an important partner in efforts to preserve and protect natural resources.
“I am excited about the Nature Fund’s focus on supporting scientific studies and development of management tools to assist parks in addressing unprecedented and complex landscape scale issues,” Jarvis said, adding, that the Nature Fund has an “important role to play in helping to bring a new generation of scientists and resource managers into parks.”
The National Park Foundation also recognizes the benefit of additional private philanthropic efforts directed toward national parks.
“The mission of the Nature Fund for National Parks augments the impact we can make in the areas of science, discovery and protection in these special places,” said Neil Mulholland, President of the National Park Foundation. “We look forward to working with the Nature Fund to maximize the benefit for America’s national parks.”
“As we approach the Centennial of the National Park Service in 2016, the needs of the national parks have never been greater,” Shaver said. “Recognizing that the challenges facing parks over the next 100 years will be daunting and impossible to address without better scientific information and conservation practices, we brought together a concerned and dedicated group of retired NPS employees to create the Nature Fund for National Parks.”
The Nature Fund is working with the NPS to identify high priority projects that cannot be funded because of declining budgets. Funding will be solicited from foundations, corporations, and the public. The Nature Fund will also strive to highlight scientific work being done in parks and the role science plays in helping park managers deal with climate change, invasive species, wildlife management, and various kinds of pollution.
“Those who choose to donate to the Nature Fund for National Parks will know that their money is being directed toward preventing harm to species, restoring species and ecological health, helping natural systems adapt to change, and increasing scientific capacity,” says Shaver.