Lou Whittaker @ Paradise Inn | © RMI
Dan Evans | © Seattle PI
A LOOK BACK: It was a rainy night in Seattle in 1993. Former Governor and Senator Dan Evans was chatting with legendary mountaineer Lou Whittaker and Microsoft employee Melinda French about the wonders of Washington State’s three largest national parks: Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks. Together, they knew the parks needed – and most importantly, deserved – volunteer and financial support.
Together, they formed Washington’s National Park Fund. While the organization went by various names during its formative years, its vision remained the same: Bring the thousands of people who care deeply about these iconic public lands together and share the parks’ most pressing issues. That vision holds true today.
OFFICIAL PARTNERS: Today, Washington’s National Park Fund is the official nonprofit partner supporting Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks. Alongside you and other outdoor-loving, park-minded supporters, we’re ensuring the preservation of precious lands, improving trails and campgrounds, funding more volunteer and youth programs, and providing research dollars for glacial analysis and the study of those incredible critters that call the parks home.
Washington’s National Park Fund is the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to supporting Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks through charitable contributions, operating under a Partnership Agreement between each national park and the Fund. Annually, the park superintendents submit a wish list of projects that, except for charitable contributions, would not otherwise happen. These include programs to encourage young people and their families to experience our national parks, enhance the visitor experience through trail and interpretive signage improvements, and expand the parks’ scientific knowledge to both share with the public and to incorporate into improved cultural and resource management decisions.
OUR MISSION is to raise private support to deepen the public’s love for, understanding of, and experiences in Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks. OUR VISION is for our three parks to be strong and vibrant, youthful and everlasting.
From July 1, 2007 – December 31, 2016, more than 200 projects totaling $3 million have been funded by donors to Washington’s National Park Fund.
Washington’s National Park Fund is governed by a volunteer board of directors and advised by parks leadership. We are registered with the Washington Secretary of State’s office (Tax ID #01-0869799). The Fund is committed to financial accountability for our donors and park partners. You can also find the most recent IRS 990 and summary report on GuideStar. Work is conducted by an Executive Director who works collaboratively with a team of six hard-working individuals, all of whom care deeply about national parks. The Fund’s offices are located in Seattle at the corner of Third and Stewart.