LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT™
We're empowering the next generation of Park Champions to preserve the parks we love.
National parks are loved by millions, but they can’t be taken for granted. More visitors, less funding, and a changing climate means that our wildlands are under pressure and we need to help.
Our Story From the Beginning
2014 - Parks Project is born
- During our time volunteering in the Santa Monica Mountains, we learned that environmental damage and a lack of funding had brought our parklands to the brink of crisis.
- Like in any tough situation, we decided to look for the helpers. What we found were unique projects that needed funding, tireless volunteers that needed support, and a global community of nature-lovers just waiting for a call to action. Out of our love for the Parks and our desire to see them flourish, Parks Project was born.
2015 - Parks Project gets rolling
- Operating out of garages, cars, and coffee shops, we made it to our first trade show, where we were lucky enough to be placed next to the coffee cart – people waiting in the line were forced to learn about us!
2016 - We buddy up with parks
- We became an official partner to the National Parks, hired four staff members, and built out all of the things we suddenly needed – accounting, HR, shipping, and all that fun stuff.
2017 - The team grows
- Our team expanded to a whopping nine people, which meant it was finally time for an office! Those new hires helped us build out our website, attract 100,000 Instagram followers, and all of the sudden, we couldn’t seem to keep our items on the shelf.
2018 - We partner with National Geographic and REI
The momentum from the year before took us to a new level in 2018, thanks in part to awesome partnerships with National Geographic and REI. Two more team members meant we were on the move again, and with more focus on our online sales, we were able to give back over $500,000 to the parks – 100x what we gave back just three years before.
2019 - The Volunteer Alliance is born
- We didn’t rest on our laurels – we asked what more we could do. 2019 saw us launch our Volunteer Alliance to connect leaders and volunteers to host work days all over the country. We also started doing company volunteer trips to do more work ourselves, reconsidered our role and started focusing more on park news and stories, and launched awesome collaborations with Greta Van Fleet, Shepard Fairey, and much more!
2020 - Parks For All
- Like it was for so many people and companies, 2020 was a complicated one here at Parks Project. We left our office when the pandemic began and started working from home. For a team that so valued each other’s company, it was tough at first though it opened the opportunity to welcome new employees from all over the country to our team. In August, we surpassed our first million dollars donated to parks; before the end of the year, we added over $380,000 more to that contribution.
2021 - Our Year of Growth
- 2021 was a milestone year at Parks Project. A little over a year after we celebrated $1,000,000 contributed to nonprofits on behalf of parks, we hit the $2,000,000 contributed mark! We also introduced a new collection of products designed for better enjoyment of the outdoors, including camp chairs and hammocks in three iconic all-over prints. We continued to collaborate with artists and lifestyle brands inspired by our mission. We reinstated the Volunteer Alliance and hosted clean-up programs from Los Angeles to New York. Finally, our team grew to 22 employees located across the country.
2022 - Partnerships and Clean Ups
- Did you know that our (and maybe your!) favorite Parks Project trail crew socks are now organic? More organic outcomes from 2022 include collabs with essential organizations like Outdoor Afro and the SF Park Alliance, and celebrating major moments like Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary as a national park. The team also volunteered at the annual Yosemite Facelift event - open to everyone! - and helped out in LA with the Tree People Coldwater Canyon cleanup. Thanks for being part of the Parks Project journey and helping us donate $2,559,209 back to the parks to leave it better than we found it.
2023 - Today
- Walking the park-championing walk is important for us as both a company and individuals at Parks Project, which is why achieving the B Corp Certification at the start of the year was a big deal. You can read more about what it means here. That set the tone for as we continued to roll out new collaborations with the Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association and feedback-based updates to some classics - like our boxy tees. Heading into our company retreat, we took a few days offline to bask in the sun at Sequoia National Park while helping to remove the invasive orchard grass that has taken root in Round Meadow. What’s next? Think more nature cleanup days with friends, more park partnerships, and bigger giveback goals to help preserve the places we love to wander.
Habitat & Wildlife Restoration
National park ecosystems are often fragile and rely on diverse wildlife and native plants. Due to human impact, they are threatened in many of your parklands. Restoration projects help to undo past damage and prevent more from occurring in the future.
As visitation continues to grow in national parks around the country, it can take a toll on park infrastructure. Visitor programs are crucial for helping people experience and connect with the parklands in a non-invasive and sustainable manner.
Advocacy & Education
We aim to teach the world, whether local or international, about the importance of protecting parklands around the country. We think it's our responsibility to educate about parks and consistently advocate on their behalf—leading to a better future.
Voices of the youth will impact the future of our parklands. Educating and inspiring the next generation of national park visitors, advocates, and guardians is crucial. Our goal is to give as many kids national park access as possible.
We live by our mission—putting people in parks to actively participate in projects is a year-round focus point. Whether it’s events in our backyard of the Santa Monica Mountains or across the country, we provide opportunities and support the efforts of people working to leave it better than they found it.