PARK INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
January 1, 2019
Parks and protected areas are critical places of natural and cultural resources, providing recreation and enjoyment to millions, while contributing significant natural, ecological, cultural, scientific, recreational, health, and economic benefits to our society. Poll after poll shows that this country loves these areas, but the public does not fully understand their value and contributions to our quality of life Retaining and enhancing park utilization and access, improving health and socioeconomic benefits to all population groups, helping members of the public to take greater responsibility for the nation’s parks and protected areas, are all critical goals if these areas are to survive and maintain their integrity and vibrancy.
An assortment of non-governmental groups, academic centers, public agencies, and private individuals focus their efforts on supporting and preserving parks and protected areas. Our society is fortunate to have a strong network of conservation entities working to sustain these areas and their efforts are considerable and commendable. But, two pieces of this network are missing: efforts are not reaching a broad enough segment of the public, and there is not enough collaboration aimed at facilitating a collective and cohesive strategy among organizations working toward the same end. The Park Institute of America (Institute) will be focused on enhanced collaboration and the creation of a shared agenda that reaches a broad swath of the public.
Through collaboration and education, ensure that parks and other protected areas are embraced as essential to society.
To champion parks and protected areas by increasing understanding through education, enhancing the exchange of ideas, and building momentum through partnerships.
1. Communicate the value of parks and protected areas across generations.
2. Provide transformational training for national and international park practitioners.
3. Facilitate a collective and comprehensive strategy to expand support through wide-ranging partnerships.
4. Share new technologies and ideas to promote innovative practices for conservation, visitor use, and sustainable access.
Goal 1: Communicate the value of parks and protected areas across generations.
Use all appropriate communication tools, including new technologies to share policy and scientific findings.
Use social media and other communications platforms to reach new and extended audiences of all ages, economic and cultural status.
Educate the next generation of park leaders, conservationists and advocates through effective, wide ranging communications strategies.
Develop templates for telling stories of parks and protected areas that would appeal to many diverse audiences including images used in local print and digital media, interviews shaped into podcasts for local and national radio, and short video clips created for social media sharing sites.
Utilize the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks’ communications platform to highlight the work of the Institute and partner on new communications initiatives.
Goal 2: Provide transformational training for national and international park practitioners.
In partnership with the National Park Service, scholarly institutions and others, host a biannual international short course seminar in which protected area practitioners from other countries interact with, learn from, and contribute to conservation efforts.
In partnership with universities, create leadership training for park and protected area professionals focused on adaptation and assessment of new challenges threatening protected areas.
Invest in the next generation of park and protected area practitioners by development of strategic training models to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Training will include lessons learned and anticipating and adapting to these challenges.
Provide opportunities for Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks’ members to implement, teach and engage in trainings, as well as provide expertise on the issues to be studied.
Goal 3: Facilitate a collective and comprehensive strategy to expand support through wide-ranging partnerships.
Serve as a non-partisan convener of parties from a wide range of organizations and disciplines to stimulate conversation, resolve important issues, share best management practices, and evaluate their effectiveness.
Promote partner programming and support the network of PIA aligned organizations and groups.
Engage with communities to reflect diversity, inclusion and equity of society to empower action to support parks, encourage recreation, and protect historic sites.
In partnership with the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, increase opportunities for retired, former and current National Park Service employees to participate in programming and projects to enhance, expand, and strengthen partners.
Goal 4: Share new technologies and ideas to promote innovative practices for conservation, visitor use and sustainable access.
Work with partners (commercial, business, non-profit, government) to explore new technologies and practices that will enhance resource protection, promote sustainable access, and better serve the public.
Identify, test and apply these technologies and practices and assess their effectiveness. Share these findings widely.
Develop and equip park and protected area professionals with new management techniques, strategies, and best practices through training, mentoring, case studies and lessons learned.
Partner with the Coalition to build strategy and evaluation of new technologies and practices.
The Park Institute of America is a joint partnership between the Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE) at Duke University in Durham, NC, and the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (CPANP). The NSOE is one of the most prestigious environmental schools in the country. The Institute is an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization incorporated in the State of North Carolina. Its affiliation with NSOE will facilitate close collaboration and interactions with faculty, staff, students and other resources of the university in carrying out the programs of the Institute.
The Coalition, established in 2003, consists of over 1,600 retired, former, and current National Park Service employees with over 35,000 years of collective experience working for national parks. These individuals will be available to teach, mentor, write, and contribute in important ways to the success of the Institute. They will also play an important role in the broad education mandate of the Institute and make it truly unique. This partnership will be a significant asset to both institutions.
The Park Institute of America is governed by a board of directors, representing diverse interests and backgrounds – business, academia, communication, conservation, social media and philanthropy. It is responsible for setting the policy and program direction of the Institute and ensuring its financial health through fund raising.