The History of the National Parks Conservation Association

NPCA’s mission: to protect and enhance America’s National Park System for present and future generations.

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is an independent, nonpartisan voice working to address major threats facing the National Park System. NPCA was established in 1919, just three years after the National Park Service. Stephen Mather, the first director of the Park Service, was one of our founders. He felt very strongly that the national parks would need an independent voice—outside the political system—to ensure these places remained unimpaired for future generations. Now, nearly one hundred years later, NPCA has more than 800,000 members and supporters. In addition to our LEED-certified national headquarters in Washington, D.C., NPCA has 24 regional and field offices around the country.

Learn more about NPCA’s history. 

Our Core Values

At NPCA our work to protect and enhance our national parks is guided by six core values: Commitment to Mission, Empowerment, Teamwork, Accountability, Innovation, and Diversity.

Our core values embolden NPCA to achieve excellence; unite us with one another, our members, volunteers and partners; and fuel our commitment to become the catalyst and leader of a national parks movement that fulfills our shared mission to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations.

Learn more about NPCA's core values.

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