National Parks Traveler's Essential Friends + Gateways

Traveler's 2nd Annual Essential Friends + Gateways publication, a collaboration between the Traveler and a core group of national park foundations, cooperating associations, trusts, friends groups, and gateway communities, is aimed at enhancing and furthering the now nationally significant role of these organizations and entities in the preservation and enjoyment of our parks.

Traveler's Essential Friends + Gateways Initiative Celebrates National Parks

Just in time for National Park Week -- Traveler's 2013 magazine Essential Friends + Gateways! Flip through 50+ pages of full-color features celebrating national parks, their increasingly indispensable friends' groups—along with great park gateways and the local insight and travel tips you need to savor summer in the country's top national parks.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Friends, Celebrating National Park Friends Groups

Earlier this year National Parks Traveler broke ground with Essential Friends, an initiative created to celebrate the great work of national park friends groups. While the publication has been available in PDF format, we now offer it to you as a flip book. Enjoy!

Help Your Essential Friends: Suggestions On Contributing To National Park Friends Groups

Throughout the summer we've been celebrating the work of national park friends groups. While the summer is coming to an end, their good work continues throughout the year. And with that in mind, they could use your support to fund that work. Here's a look back at some of the park system's "essential friends" and how you can support them.

National Park Friends Group 101

While there are nearly 400 units of the National Park System, there are only about 150 groups today that view themselves as friends groups working to benefit the parks. Interested in creating a friends group, or need help getting your organization out of the blocks? The National Park Foundation is there to help.

Discriminating Explorer: Enjoy Western National Parks With Tips From National Park Friends Groups

August is on the run, but that doesn't mean the time to get the most out of your favorite national park in the western part of the country has passed by. Take the following tips from friends groups in Big Bend, Glacier, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone national parks to heart and you'll create years of memories.

Explore Yellowstone National Park With Yellowstone Park Foundation's Insider Tips

Yellowstone National Park is huge, covering some 2.2 million acres. How best to explore this landscape? Take to heart some of the following tips from the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Yellowstone Park Foundation: Working Hard For Wonderland

As Congress continues to look for ways to cut federal spending, non-profit organizations such as the Yellowstone Park Foundation are becoming invaluable for the direct funding they provide the national parks. Often without their help trails would go without maintenance, wildlife research would dip, and facilities would deteriorate.

Some Things To Keep In Mind When It Comes To Making Your National Park Charitable Gifts

With so many organizations clamoring for your charitable dollars, how can you decide which group to give to in support of the national parks? Do your homework, urges Jacqueline Vaughn.

The Shenandoah National Park Trust: A Solid Base For The Future

Shenandoah National Park is one of the crown jewels of the national park system. Its partner, Shenandoah National Park Trust, is dedicated to ensuring that it remains that way for generations to come.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ideas And Funding For The Future

Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures more than 9 million visitors a year to an 800,000-acre swath of rich, and dense, southern Appalachian forest. Keeping trails open, fulfilling all needs, and coping with all those visitors, is a heady challenge for the National Park Service. And that's where Friends of the Smokies fills a mighty role. In this installment of the Traveler's Essential Friends project, we introduce you to the Foundation and its mission in the park

The Glacier Fund: Supporting The Crown Of The Continent

From introducing school children to nature and underwriting wildlife research, the Glacier Fund is at work daily on helping the National Park Service meet the needs of Glacier National Park.

Essential Friends: Friends of Big Bend National Park, Looking Forward While Preserving The Past

The foremost mission of the National Park Service is to preserve the units of the park system, but providing for public enjoyment and education through interpretation is never overlooked. Helping drive both those missions at Big Bend is Friends of Big Bend National Park, a group that one day could be sponsoring a road or trail run and the next day spending the proceeds from that race on maintaining trails in the park.

Friends Of Acadia: Partnering For Acadia National Park's Future

Acadia in 1919 became the first national park east of the Mississippi. Thanks to people with a passionate love for the beauty of Mount Desert Island— and its cool summers (at least compared to inner-city Boston and New York City)— the jewel dubbed “MDI” was spared from rampant development.

Essential Friends: Ensuring Excellence In The National Parks

As lovers of national parks look forward to the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service—guardian of ”America’s Best Idea”—there has never been a better time to profile the rise and role of what may be our “Second Best Idea”—the friends groups, trusts, and foundations that support those parks.