The Parks Project: Supporting Our ParklandsPosted by Whole Earth | 03.11.2019
The Parks Project: Supporting Our Parklands
Several years ago, Keith Eshelman and Sevag Kazanci, the founders of Parks Project, volunteered for a trail workday in the Santa Monica Mountains in California. The volunteers were few and from an older generation. This surprised them. Where were the young people? After several more volunteer days with the same result, they decided to take action.
While volunteering they discovered that there were many projects in our National Parks that need funding, advocacy and support. Both Eshelman and Kanzanci had worked at TOMS, the shoe company that created the One for One model of companies giving back. They reimagined the TOMS model as a way to gather support for our National Parks and Monuments by making a line of t-shirts that directly funded backlogged projects in the Parks and encouraged younger folk to volunteer.
The Parks Project donates to over 30 conservancies across the country that support specific Parks and provide vital funding for their ongoing work. By contributing directly to conservancies, the Parks Project knows exactly where their funds are being used, and they can track the progress of the projects. In Texas, the Parks Project supports Big Bend and the Guadalupe Mountains National Parks.
The Parks Project Mission affirms the company’s love of the outdoors, their responsibility to promote, protect and preserve public lands and is reflected in their motto is “Leave it better than you found it.” They support work in four areas: habitat restoration, wildlife conservation, visitor programs, and youth education. The infographic below shows some of the programs they’ve supported.
Sadly, not every Park that the Parks Project supports has a t-shirt of its own. You’ll find Parks Projects t-shirts for Arches, Big Bend, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Yellowstone and Yosemite in our stores and online.
The Parks Project’s ten year goal is to fund 100 projects, generate 100,000 volunteer hours, and rekindle a love of the Parks in people of all ages. They believe the best way to support our Parks is to become emotionally and physically invested in them. The “Get Involved” section of the Parks Project website includes information on a variety of ways to support parklands. They also share instructions on how to set up your own volunteer day for your favorite park. Follow the Parks Project lead and support your favorite Parks!