"It's Like God Put His Finger on the Map"
When Rick Flory was barely a teenager, a family trip sparked his love of America’s natural treasures. Packed into the family pick up camper, Rick, his two brothers, and his parents drove west from Ohio and crisscrossed many of our country’s most majestic landscapes. He came away from that trip determined to someday live out West and hungry to learn all he could about the places that filled him with awe.
To him, the most amazing view of all was one he would later share again with his wife. “There is a spot along the Togwotee Pass Highway, US 26, west of Dubois, Wyoming where you come around the bend and suddenly there is an opening. You can see the Teton Range in all its glory, framed by trees. It’s like God put his finger on the map, and you’re there to see it.”
Now many years later, Rick takes action every day to help ensure the future of our national parks. He and his wife, Lee, have been leading supporters of NPCA for many years. Together they established their foundation, Earth Friends Conservation Fund, with the motto Conservation Deserves More than 2%. The foundation works to raise awareness about the miniscule amount of charitable giving (just 2 percent) that goes to conservation and environmental causes and to help organizations like NPCA recruit even more supporters.
Rick enjoyed a successful career as a Domino’s Pizza owner in Arizona and today is proud to be able to invest in a healthier ecosystem for all of us. He believes supporting conservation provides donors the best return on investment they can possibly get.
“From a business perspective, it’s so inexpensive to keep something that you value properly maintained. In our beautiful parks, we have some of the most productive economic engines ever created. Yet we aren’t investing the pittance it takes to maintain them. It’s incredibly short-sighted—for the parks and our whole environment.
Because the parks captivate hundreds of millions of visitors every year, he also believes they have a unique ability to educate the public about how fragile our natural resources are and get more people involved in conservation.
Rick supports NPCA because “it’s the only citizen-supported, independent group devoted to advancing the welfare of America’s national parks and working to create a nation of park stewards.”
He began ramping up his charitable giving 18 years ago and has been working on Earth Friends full-time for the past decade. His philanthropy is inspired by the knowledge that the air we breathe and the water we drink are literally what sustain us as human beings.
NPCA is grateful to Rick Flory and Lee Robert and Earth Friends Conservation Fund for including us as partners in their passion for the environment.