NPS Centennial Campaign Is Focus of 2016's First Recreation Exchange

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Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2016) – Key officials of the National Park Foundation (NPF) reported on the first year of the FindYourPark Centennial campaign to recreation community leaders on March 8 at the American Recreation Coalition’s first Recreation Exchange of 2016.

NPF President Will Shafroth opened the Exchange by providing background on recent activities of the Foundation. “NPF’s mission is to protect, connect, inspire – partnering closely with the National Park Service to sustain the National Park System,” he said. He also noted the adoption and expansion of ambitious new fund-raising goals, and the importance of maintaining the inspiring spirt of the Centennial long past 2016.

David French, NPF’s Senior Vice President for Marketing, Communications and Corporate Partnerships, reviewed the development of FindYourPark, from research and creation in 2014, through launch in 2015, to celebration in 2016. He explained how NPF was measuring the campaign’s success by looking at three key areas: relevance – in terms of media impressions and brand awareness; engagement – in terms of park visitation, social media presence, and overall interest in national parks; and support – in terms of donations to NPF from individuals and corporate partners and actual volunteerism.

French cited a number of findings indicating that FindYourPark is meeting with significant success in all three areas. The campaign has achieved more than three billion impressions via traditional and online media with the help of partners and celebrity ambassadors. It has been successful in broadening the public’s understanding of the national parks as encompassing much more than the great parks of the Western United States, including key cultural and historic sites. He noted almost 40,000 personal FindYourPark stories have been submitted to the campaign’s website, while national parks enjoyed a record-breaking 307 million visits in 2015. He reported that NPF had welcomed 250,000 new supporters and that corporate partners were undertaking individual efforts to advance FindYourPark. In addition, he noted a large array of Centennial events and projects and the broad outreach of NPF’s ongoing public-relations efforts.

French encouraged Recreation Exchange participants to support FindYourPark through the use of marketing materials and merchandise, media engagement, visitor events, and more, emphasizing that the NPF team is available to help with those efforts. He noted that such partnership efforts shouldn’t be viewed through a short-term lens. There is no expiration date for the campaign, he explained. “FindYourPark can live on long after the Centennial is over.”

The American Recreation Coalition has been sponsoring Recreation Exchanges in Washington, D.C. for more than 30 years to stimulate dialogue between the recreation community and representatives of key organizations that are playing an important role in shaping the future of our nation.

Contact information for the National Park Foundation is: David French, Senior Vice President National Park Foundation 1110 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 200 Washington, DC 20005 202-796-2530,