I love the United States National Park system!!!
Yes, that sentence ended with several exclamation points. Those who know me well can attest to my passion. I’ve been a National Park annual pass member since I was old enough to buy my own (and living 400 miles away from home made it harder to borrow my parents’). I am an avid passport stamp collector (if you don’t know what that is, click here to learn all about this awesome program). It’s well beyond the “I have the little books they sell at the counters of the visitor’s centers” level of interest. It’s the “wow, you have the big, zip-up book and a spread sheet you created to easily check off parks as you visit them” level of interest. Yes, I am a National Parks geek, but honestly, how can you not get excited about visiting the best outdoors and history this country has to offer?
Over the years, government funding has been drastically cut for the National Park systems even though attendance and support continue to be very high. Knowing that our beautiful parks and the best (and worst) of America’s history are not accessible to people every day kills me! So when I started planning my Australia adventure, I began to look out how involved the Australian people and government were in their park system. I was amazed to find this incredible effort by both groups to preserve and promote the Australian national parks. Wanting to learn more, I got in contact with the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife.
The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is an organization in Australia whose “philanthropy is an investment in our public estate, our unique species, and our cultural heritage—for all to enjoy.” FNPW has a two-part approach to support parks and wildlife in Australia. First, FNPW works with individuals and businesses to acquire land that it believes has a high conservation value. All land acquired by FNPW is then added to the National Reserve System. FNPW also provides grants and funding to conservation projects that promote and benefit Australia’s native wildlife and plants as well as cultural sites.
In the last ten years, the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife has accomplished incredible things. Some of this includes:
• More than $11 million dollars to a wide range of conservation projects
• Almost $1 million dollars to fund education and research projects
• $1 million dollars to projects for threatened species
• More than $1 million dollars spent on cultural heritage restoration and preservation work
• More than 41,000 hectares of land, valued at approximately $6.4 million, was added to Australia’s National Reserve System in the last decade
I am beyond excited to be supporting the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife in November. What they are doing to support the park system in Australia is amazing. Please take a few moments to visit their website and see what they are all about.