Olympic National Park among record funding year from WA National Park Fund

A record $1.1 million is being awarded to the Olympic National, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades parks.

In a release from Washington’s National Park Fund (WNPF) on Wednesday, they say that as the official nonprofit partner serving the parks, this month they distributed $1,130,000 to support 42 priority projects in Washington’s three largest national parks in 2023. 

This amount represents a record for WNPF’s distributions to the parks.

Each year, the park superintendents and their teams select and submit priority projects for their respective parks, which fall into four core areas: advancing science and research, improving visitors’ experiences, expanding volunteerism and stewardship, and embracing inclusion. 

WNPF then raises funds to support these projects through donations from individual and corporate donors, stock and estate gifts, contributions from park lodge guest donation programs, foundation grants, events, fundraising climbs, and the statewide national park license plate program.

“It’s quite remarkable yet not surprising based on the generosity of our donors that we were able to fund nearly every project our three park partners requested funds for,” said Laurie Ward, CEO of Washington’s National Park Fund. “Year after year, more and more people are giving together for the parks, and once again, Washington’s National Park Fund had a record-setting fundraising year. I’m proud to say that ended the year with an additional $ 380,000 on hand to distribute to the parks when they’re ready to implement additional programs – all thanks to our thousands of supporters and partners.”

This year, thanks to donors:

Olympic National Park received $385,771 to fund projects including the development of a Native Conservation Corps program by youth members of the Quileute Tribe, the Terminus glacier memorial project, the Adventures in Your Big Backyard youth program, and elk monitoring in the Hoh River drainage. WNPF will award an additional $57,773 when the park is ready to receive it.

Mount Rainier National Park received $630,768; these funds will enable projects like Wonderland Trail improvements and maintenance, development of an online accessible trails guide, aquatic surveys and restoration, and the park’s 200 Meadow Rover volunteers who patrol alpine trails teaching visitors about land stewardship. WNPF will award an additional $144,212 when the park is ready to receive it.

North Cascades National Park received $114,225 for projects like rare carnivore research, digitization of the 1963 North Cascades Study Commission photographs that built the case for protecting the land as a national park, the “Adopt-A-Whitebark Pine” project, and an innovative food sustainability and native plant education program in partnership with local tribes. WNPF will award an additional $179,449 when the park is ready to receive it.

For a full list of funded projects, visit www.wnpf.org/projects.