The Park Institute of America

The Park Institute of America is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to maintain the integrity and vibrancy of America's National Parks and ensure that the country's valuable cultural and environmental resources endure.

The Institute is the result of a collaboration between the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks and Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment.

Located on the Duke University campus, the Park Institute of America engages students, teachers and professionals in the pursuit of a strong and open park system.

Our focus

The Institute focuses its efforts to:

  • Communicate the value of parks and protected areas across generations.

  • Provide transformational training for national and international park practitioners.

  • Facilitate a collective and comprehensive strategy to expand support through wide-ranging partnerships.

  • Share new technologies and ideas to promote innovative practices for conservation, visitor use, and sustainable access.

WHAT are protected areas?

The term "protected areas" represents a broad array of places throughout the world, embodying both natural and cultural values, from parks and preserves to living landscapes and vital urban districts. While each protected area has its own unique qualities, all protected areas are interconnected and have a collective importance. 


By providing ways to share information more freely, and in a timely and accessible manner, we can help unite a wider audience around shared goals, which is critical for forging real solutions
— Maureen Finnerty, Board Chair, Park Institute of America
Our parks and protected areas represent extraordinary environmental, social and scientific assets. The benefits of this work will extend far beyond park borders.
— Jeffrey Vincent, Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management at Duke University


The Park Institute of America Brochure

Read the brochure as a PDF.