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We're Passionate About Our National Parks

Nature Valley is partnering with the National Parks Conservation Association® to advance important restoration projects in support of America’s national parks. Together, we can all help preserve our national parks so that future generations may find inspiration and enjoyment within these places of rare beauty.

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Explore Our Restoration Projects


It's easy to get involved. Together, we can all make a difference.

Yellowstone National Park - NPCA Project Lead: Patricia Dowd, Yellowstone Program Manager

Yellowstone is the largest national park in the continental United States. Encompassing over two million acres, it spans three states: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Within the Park's vast territory, a multitude of wildlife - including bison, grizzly bears, pronghorn antelope and elk - live and migrate. For centuries, these animals roamed freely over the land. But decades ago, when settlement and development occurred along park boundaries, fences were installed blocking traditional wildlife migration routes. Many species, like pronghorn and elk, get tangled in barbed wire or trapped in pastures without adequate food. To thrive, Yellowstone's migrating species need unobstructed access to their migration routes in and out of the Park. Nature Valley is helping to make this a reality.

In an area adjacent to the north side of Yellowstone, fences have blocked primary wildlife migration routes for decades. Nature Valley has helped volunteers to remove or modify over three miles of wooden jack fence and barbed wire fence. This effort opened up an additional 50,000 acres of habitat for Yellowstone’s pronghorn antelope. It worked. During the spring and summer of 2012, for the first time in recent memory, bucks and pronghorn does have fawned (with rumors of a rare set of triplets) and taken up residence in a key migration area just north of the park.

Grand Teton National Park - NPCA Project Lead: Sharon Mader, Grand Teton Senior Program Manager

Within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park lies part of the 6,000-year-old, 120-mile migration corridor known as the Path of the Pronghorns, the longest terrestrial migration path in the continental United States. Over the years, fences built on private land adjacent to the park have obstructed this migration path and injured moose, deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and low-flying waterfowl such as trumpeter swans. To wildlife, barbed wire fencing is "invisible," particularly during stormy winter months. Animals can become ensnared as they move in and out of the Park while searching for food or migrating. To survive, Grand Teton National Park's wildlife need a safe route across park boundaries. Nature Valley is helping make this possible.

Nature Valley has helped volunteers to improve safety for migrating animals such as moose, deer, elk, and pronghorn antelope. Marking fences with 15,000 “fence flags” have enabled wildlife to recognize and avoid hazardous barbed wire. In a separate corridor known as the Path of the Pronghorn, volunteers altered over a mile of fence to be wildlife-friendly thus providing more protection to the wildlife of Grand Teton National Park.

Joshua Tree National Park - NPCA Project Lead: David Lamfrom, California Desert Program Manager

Bighorn sheep, six species of rattlesnakes and numerous native and migratory birds including golden eagles, roadrunners and quail - all live in or migrate through Joshua Tree National Park. An important source of water and food for this wildlife is located outside the Park's western boundary in the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Recently, windblown nitrogen pollution has been fertilizing invasive grasses in Big Morongo. These grasses crowd out the native plants the Park's wildlife feed on. Worse still, these grasses fuel fires caused by summer lightning strikes and burn thousands of wild acres. To protect the wildlife of Joshua Tree National Park, invasive grasses need to be weeded out. Nature Valley is making this happen.

During 2011-2012, Nature Valley helped scores of volunteers, including local Marines and youth groups, to protect and preserve special places in the California desert. Volunteers have uprooted and eliminated invasive pigweed, a plant that smells like rotten fish, from a large field in Big Morongo Canyon. Volunteers have also worked to reclaim nearby lands damaged by off-road vehicles, helping to protect the desert tortoise habitat.

By removing invasive species, reclaiming land damaged by off-road vehicles, picking up trash, and planting native vegetation, the natural habitat has been preserved. In addition to protecting plant life, these efforts have helped to preserve an irreplaceable wildlife corridor. Wildlife native to Joshua Tree Natural Park including birds, bobcats, bighorn sheep, foxes, mountain lions, snakes, and the desert tortoise are now more protected because of cooperation of Nature Valley and volunteers.

Past Project - Biscayne National Park - NPCA Project Lead: Kahlil Kettering, Senior Director, Biscayne National Analyst

Biscayne National Park is the only national park that's 95% under water. Situated south of the city of Miami, FL, decades ago land developers drained much of the coastal habitat around the Park to accommodate the city's rapid growth. Unfortunately, this threatened the health of coastal wildlife and the plant species they depend upon for food, shelter and nesting. What's needed are the means to protect this fragile coastal ecosystem endangered by expanding urban development. Nature Valley helped make this possible.

During 2010 and 2011, Nature Valley supported efforts including the restoration of the national coastal habitat of Oleta River State Park, which is adjacent to Biscayne National Park. With Nature Valley's help, volunteers planted 400 small trees. In addition, we helped make it possible for professional contractors with heavy machinery to plant many larger, mature-growth trees.

Together, these plantings helped to restore a unique type of native tropical forest known as a Hardwood Hammock. As it grows, this newly planted Hardwood Hammock will become an important habitat for birds and wildlife species. Over time, it will help ensure the health of Biscayne National Park's coastal ecosystem for generations to come.

Acadia National Park - NPCA Project Lead: Oliver Spellman, Program Manager

Rugged coastlines, stark granite peaks and historic carriage roads - year after year, people return to Acadia National Park to immerse themselves in the beauty of these unique surroundings. But for visitors of Bar Harbor, Maine, there are not enough easy ways to reach the Park without a car. Yet, excessive car traffic - especially during the busy summer months - can strain Park resources and potentially impact delicate ecosystems. What's needed are improved ways for visitors and residents to access Acadia National Park on foot or with a bicycle. Nature Valley is helping to make this possible.

During 2011-2012, Nature Valley helped volunteers to construct two new connector trails, creating new pathways for pedestrians and reducing automobile congestion. The first connector is a three-quarter-mile trail named the Duck Brook Road Connector between Bar Harbor and Acadia. The other trail is a 1.8 mile path named the Trenton Community Connector between the Acadia Gateway Center and the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - NPCA Project Lead: Don Barger, Southeast Regional Office

Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. Within its lush perimeter lie miles of ancient forests, streams and a rich diversity of native plants and wildlife. Unfortunately, the Park's mild weather and abundant rainfall have also allowed a number of invasive plants and animals to establish themselves here. Many are so aggressive they threaten to crowd out native species. In addition, large tracts of private land adjacent to the Park require restoration and stewardship measures to protect threatened migratory songbirds and native wildlife. What's needed are the means to remove invasive vegetation, reintroduce native growth and make the habitat in and around the Park more hospitable to songbirds and native wildlife. Nature Valley is helping to make all this happen.

During 2011-2012, Nature Valley helped volunteers complete multiple projects in support of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We removed 45 acres of invasive plants to improve park habitat. Volunteers also “feathered” a forest edge (cutting small trees and brush) to enhance its efficacy as habitat for migratory birds. Teams also re-graded eroded trails, decreasing siltation and runoff into the headwaters adjacent to the park. Finally, volunteers planted tree seedlings along the banks of waterways flowing into the Park to improve water quality and protect native fish species.

NEW PROJECT - Everglades National Park - NPCA Project Lead: Kahlil Kettering, Restoration Program Analyst

The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, Everglades National Park is home to vast wetlands, fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove forests and sea grass ecosystems. Yet, situated near the Park, is the 24-acre Florida City Pinelands Preserve. One of the Everglades National Park's natural gateways, the Preserve is threatened by non-native plant species that are endangering the plants and wildlife of the Park itself. An additional challenge is that local visitors have limited entrance points into the Everglades.

During 2012, Nature Valley helped volunteers to restore 25 beautiful acres in the Everglades. We removed invasive species, planted native species, spread mulch and more. In addition, teams blazed a new trail into the park, creating a 700-foot wide grand entrance for the public. The location of this trail leads visitors directly into an area that represents a microcosm of the entire park, creating education opportunities and an enhanced experience.

Past Project - Grand Canyon National Park - NPCA Project Lead: Lori Mackarick, Program Manager

Soaring 9,200 feet above sea level at its highest point, plunging 6,000 feet at its depth; Grand Canyon National Park offers a stunning range of elevation and diverse ecosystems. Within these ecosystems that range from desert to forests, live rare plant species - some found nowhere else on earth. Sadly, these endemic plants are threatened by, among other things, invasive, non-native vegetation. The Park needed the means to protect and preserve the unique native plants that grow in and around the Grand Canyon. Nature Valley helped make it possible.

During 2010, Nature Valley enabled volunteers to remove over 400,000 non-native, invasive plant species from 1,667 acres directly impacting the Grand Canyon National Park. Working side-by-side with Park botanists and biologists, volunteers helped re-plant over 11,000 native plants across more than 20 acres. They also collected seed from 68 native plant species from the North and South Canyon rims and the Inner Canyon.

By helping to maintain the Park's unparalleled biodiversity, this project helped ensure that future generations will experience the majesty of the Grand Canyon's rare, native vegetation. These include the Sentry Milk-Vetch, a federally-listed endangered species that grows only on the rim of the Grand Canyon.