7 ways to support the National Park Service

National Park Week is currently happening, and if you haven’t celebrated yet, you’ve still got time before it ends on April 23 — although, you should still celebrate our national parks even after National Park Week wraps up!

This bison getting quite the view at home in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Photo: Courtesy of R. Spener/NPS

Sometimes we can’t always make it to a national park, as we have responsibilities like jobs, families and just life in general. At a time when the national parks are more popular than ever, there are most certainly ways to help support them without physically visiting.

We chatted with National Park Service spokesperson Kathy Kupper on some of the best ways to support the National Park Service, and ultimately the national parks themselves.

National Park Week is almost here, April 15-23! Are you ready to celebrate with us? Visit nps.gov for more info #FindYourPark #NPS101

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1. Visit

Obviously, the best way to support national parks is to visit them. But there’s more than just the parks, too.

“There are 417 national parks and sites; there’s at least one in every state,” Kupper said. “Parks are closer than people think. Even if you can’t visit a national park, we have the whole system of National Parks Recreational Trails and National Register of Historic Places. 99 percent of the counties in America have something on that Register.”

Visitors listening to an early ranger talk at Crater Lake National Park. Photo: Courtesy of National Park Service

2. Be a better visitor

Concepts like leaving it better than you found it, taking a break from technology and leaving wildlife alone are some great tips from Kupper in a guide we put together here.

3. Share your experience

Not just sharing your experience with others in the moment, but also with others everywhere else and afterwards, too. Photo: Courtesy of Brad Sutton/NPS

“If you can’t go to a park, share a photograph of you in a national park on social media during National Park Week. If people use the hashtag #FindYourPark during National Park Week, Twitter will put a ranger emoji when you use it this week. It might help introduce people who don’t visit parks.”

4. Virtually visit parks

“Our website is becoming more adept at providing virtual visits and experiences. We have divers out at Channel Islands that you can connect with remotely and they’ll answer your questions while they’re scuba diving.”


Other offerings like the national park sound library, eHikes, virtual tours and more are becoming more and more available to give yourself some nature when you can’t be there.

5. Start them young

Programs like the Junior Rangers and Buddy Bison are two ways to get kids involved with national parks at an early age. And there are definitely certain parks you should take your kids to.

6. Volunteer

A park ranger talking with a visitor. Photo: Courtesy of Kristi Rugg/NPS

There are all sorts of ways to volunteer within national parks. From artist residency programs to citizen science, national parks are always in need of volunteers.

7. Donate

“Pretty much every national park has a friend’s group. Even on the national level, we have the National Park Foundation. They all accept donations and use that money to benefit the parks. And the park book stores, and online at eparks.com, you can buy gifts for people and the money goes back to the National Park Service.”

Joshua Tree National Park. Photo: Courtesy of Lian Law/NPS

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