Press Release Apr 19, 2021

Parks Project Recognized with First-Ever National Park Defender Award

NPCA celebrates Parks Project for their considerable contributions to and in support of our national park conservation work.

Washington, D.C. – Today, in recognition of their outstanding track record of advocating for national parks, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is honoring Parks Project with its inaugural National Park Defender award. The news comes during National Park Week – an annual celebration that invites people to learn about, discover and visit America’s 423 national parks.

The new award was established by NPCA to recognize corporate partners for their considerable contributions to and in support of national park conservation work. Corporate partnerships play a critical role in NPCA’s work to protect national parks’ resources, including their air, water, wildlife, as well as the important stories they tell. Authentic partnerships, like the one with Parks Project, also help build brand equity. With nearly nine-in-10 consumers wanting to support purpose-driven companies, partnerships like this ensure strong social responsibility while benefitting NPCA through exposure to new and passionate audiences. Together, the organizations are helping to inspire new park champions who will speak up for these incredible places for years to come.

Parks Project, a vintage-inspired apparel and accessories brand, creates collections of products that promote and protect public lands through givebacks to more than 40 nonprofits, including NPCA. A percentage of the sale of several products – from t-shirts to hats and totes – directly provide financial resources to NPCA, to carry out park protection work, from habitat and wildlife restoration to advocacy training and youth education. In our two years of partnership, Parks Project and NPCA have expanded their work together to include collaborations with artists and brands including Shepard Fairey, Greta Van Fleet, Igloo Coolers and more.

“The Parks Project team is honored to receive the National Park Defender Award. We wholeheartedly believe in the NPCA’s mission and are proud to partner with an organization that takes action every day to ensure that parks are here for future generations to enjoy,” said Keith Eshelman, co-founder and CEO of Parks Project.

Most notably, NPCA collaborated with Parks Project to launch the Defend Parks apparel collection to share the stories of those who work tirelessly to defend our parks – NPCA’s volunteers and staff – while giving back to NPCA on sales of the products to support NPCA’s efforts. Not only did this help raise awareness of the importance of park protection among consumers, it provided them with a call to action to protect our national parks, through a variety of opportunities that were provided through the campaign. Throughout the collaborative outreach, more than 12 million people were reached with the call-to-action to defend America’s parks.

“We cannot do our work to protect national parks from the many threats they face, from climate change to lack of federal funding, without reaching and empowering new people across the country to join us in these efforts,” said Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association. “We are so proud to honor Parks Project with our inaugural award, not only for their financial support to further our mission but also for connecting us to their loyal, like-minded consumers that want to give back and leave a lasting impact through the products they purchase. This supports our work each day to protect these places for generations to come.”

NPCA will host a virtual Park Talk on Monday, April 19th at 4pm ET titled, How a Shirt, Hotel Stay and Beer Can Protect ParksRSVP here. Moderated by NPCA’s Mark Wenzler, representatives from Parks Project, Travelodge® by Wyndham and Breckenridge Brewery will discuss the importance of corporate social responsibility, and their collective passion for national parks and inspiring more people to join them, as well as NPCA, to speak up for them. For more information about NPCA’s work with Parks Project and others, please visit here.


About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

About Parks Project: Our national parks are loved by millions, but they can’t be taken for granted; more visitors, less funding, and a changing climate threatens our wildlands. Whether it’s using a portion of every sale to support one of our conservancy partners or hosting volunteer days for our community, Parks Project is a brand that exists to transform park enthusiasts into park champions. Established in 2014, Parks Project has created dozens of apparel and home goods items over the last six years to bring the spirit of the National Parks into your home. They’ve partnered with more than 50 conservatories to ensure the conservation and education projects they’re committing to make the biggest impact. For more information, visit and @parksproject on Instagram.

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