Community Foundation of New Jersey

New York Times: National Park a Hard Gift to Give

January 21, 2014

It’s hard work creating a National Park, or at least so says the New York Times in its recent story on a Maine family trying to do just that.  Local opposition, economic impacts, and distrust of the federal government are just a few of the factors that can seriously slow down an otherwise well-intentioned philanthropic gesture.

From the New York Times:

Consider this: Since Congress named Yellowstone the first national park in 1872, it has conferred this prized title on only 58 other sites. And most, including the Grand Canyon, received lesser designations, like national monument, long before they officially became parks. The most recent national park — Pinnacles, in California — was so designated in January, after being named a national monument in 1908.

The grand philanthropic gestures of families like the Rockefellers and Mellons, who helped build and expand the national parks, are now few and far between, and even for them it was not always easy. John D. Rockefeller Jr. spent three torturous decades trying to overcome local opposition so he could add land to Grand Teton National Park.

Click here for the full story from the New York Times.  And if you’d like to protect privately-held land in New Jersey, give us a call.