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The National Park Service has a plan to raise money, but some people are not happy. Corporations frequently fund important park projects, however, their largess is rewarded with a small plaque, not negotiated logo placement. This may change soon. The proposed plan will let corporations place their logo on the bench, building or other object that they sponsored at our nation’s monuments and in conservation areas and parks managed by the National Park Service. Direct advertising isn’t allowed, nevertheless, the plan isn’t setting well with people who say the nation’s national parks belong to the public, and they are not for sale.
According to a National Parks Traveler article, the National Park Foundation, the organization in charge of fundraising for our national parks, waved the restrictions against partnering with companies that sell alcoholic beverages, just so they could enter into a multi-million dollar partnership deal with Anheuser-Busch. Critics say that the National Park Service is becoming too dependent on corporations. They fear the park service will start selling naming rights soon.
Another controversial part of the National Park Service’s plan is to have park superintendents participate in fundraising activities. As federal employees, the superintendents cannot solicit donations directly, but opponents say that the park superintendents are supposed to be caretakers of the park, not attendees at fundraising events as expert advisors.
Park Service officials tied raising money through corporate sponsorship to attracting a younger generation of park visitors, however, it’s unclear how corporate tie-ins will attract Millennials to tranquil national parks.