Ken Burns called our national park system, “America’s Best Idea.” And I have to say, the president’s decision yesterday to eliminate more protected public land than ever before in US history — nearly 2 million acres — is absolutely disturbing in so many ways.
But I haven’t lost hope.
We are all inspired by companies like Patagonia and REI, who have consistently lived their values to support our public lands. Yesterday was no exception, as they chose to splash massive SAVE OUR PARKS messages — Patagonia’s in more pointed terms — across their home pages.
(Can you hear us cheering? Please consider shopping with Patagonia and REI during the holidays. They have some great sales going on, and those sweet kids’ Cannondale bikes at REI in our gift guide are amazing and we love the sustainable salmon gift box for an outdoors-loving man in your life.)
And now we’ve found one more way to put your money where your heart is when it comes to protecting America’s Best Idea.
Parks Projects is an awesome indie shop filled with gifts that support our national parks, including tees, sweatshirts, hats, jewelry and more. Every purchase helps fund conservation projects across the 86 million acres of U.S. National Parks.
There’s so much here that’s perfect for those outdoors lovers in our lives.
Related: Support the National Parks Foundation with these cool water bottles
I love that Parks Project partners directly with 30 conservation agencies to fund the most important on-the-ground work needed — like planting native species in Joshua Tree, educating youth on conservation practices, or innovating the way we visit the parks, to ensure we don’t destroy the ecosystems there.
In fact, you can see a complete list of their active conservation projects on their website, and even volunteer to help with some should the urge strike you.
Related: 22 National Parks and sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket.
My own plan: for the holidays, I’m going to give my kids a Parks Project item that represents the National Park we hope to visit and even volunteer for over summer break.
Because in a stroke of irony, the sadness and anger I saw in my children when they heard about the Bear Ears monument reduction yesterday actually gives me a whole lot of hope.
You can find awesome gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list — from kids’ t-shirts to candles to cool jewelry — in every price range at Parks Project that help support conservation efforts for US National Parks. I’m starting with the National Parks Advocate sticker pack for my kids’ stockings.