On August 12, 2016, CCFC’s David Monahan joined Kristen Strader and Margrete Strand Rangnes of Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert for a meeting with staff of the National Park Service (NPS) in Washington, DC. They presented the NPS with 213,926 petition signatures from the members of CREDO Action, Commercial Alert, and CCFC, asking the NPS to abandon plans to permit corporate sponsorships and branding in our parks.
The meeting was productive, and CCFC will continue to work with our partners to persuade the NPS to heed the wishes of the people and keep marketing out of our national parks. Thanks to all who have signed the petition, and if you have yet to do so, please add your name!
CCFC members signing the petition have left many wonderful comments, and a letter delivered to the NPS with the petitions highlighted some powerful ones. Here is a sampling of what CCFC members think about the idea of corporate sponsorships in our national parks:
Don't turn our national parks into billboards! As a combat veteran of the 82nd Airborne, let me assure you that no veteran goes to war for America in order to enable others to cover the natural beauty of our parks with visual trash.
-Thomas Jones, Pittsburgh, PA
Nature must remain commercial free!! Peace and tranquility, respect for the Earth, and untouched majesty are the reasons we, the people, set aside national parks.
-Jean Goulart, M.A., Bundle of Joy Nature Preschool Childcare, Hidden Valley Lake, CA
I visit parks to see and experience nature, away from billboards or any form of advertising. If advertising is allowed, it would, in essence, no longer be a public park. It would be just another commercial space. The natural beauty of parks are too precious to desecrate like this. Please don't allow commercialism to ruin America's parks.
-Louise Bjorknas, White Rock, BC, Canada
We need peaceful and beautiful spaces that are free from the signs and mind set of capitalism. Capitalism and materialism do not feed the human spirit—nature does.
-Marjorie Schaafsma, Evanston, IL
National parks should remain a place to get away from it all, not be immersed in consumer culture. I find advertising in parks repugnant and a potential conflict of interest if parks become dependent on corporations.
-Angela Robinson, Roseville, MN
Please respect the founding principles of the NPS, to preserve areas of great natural beauty and protect them from development. Allowing corporate interests to mar the beauty of the landscape flies in the face of those principles.
-Steve Sauder, Toronto, ON, Canada
Can there please be at least one place left on earth that is free from advertising and marketing and consumer psychology? Parks are an escape from the constant visual and auditory noise that assault us in every other part of the planet. Let's PLEASE keep our parks natural and ad-free.
-Janet Dean, Tampa, FL
Our National Parks represent a legacy of our country. If we turn them into avenues for commercialism we are sending a message to future generations that everything has a price.
-Roland Hoffman, New Berlin, WI
PLEASE. There are so few escapes from corporate pressures in our lives. Having worked in Glacier Park, and taking my kids to various parks as often as we can, I implore you not to allow advertising in the parks. It changes everything.
-Ani Maitin, Philadelphia, PA
Not cool! Corporations can donate without expecting signage and naming rights. How about just listing their patronage in a nice brochure at the end of the year? Our kids don't need Soda Mt., and Nacho Gulch.
-Lin Jakary, San Diego, CA
JUST SAY NO! to ads in our national parks. The whole point of the parks is to set aside lands to remain pristine and open for all to enjoy. Please NO CORPORATE sponsorship!
-Patty Dresner, Nashua, NH
"Take only photos, leave only footprints"—keep branded vistas and corporate footprints out of our National Parks.
-John Healy, Redondo Beach, CA
I HATE the new proposal! My local, St. Louis Zoo, one of the top 5 in the U.S., has resorted to corporate funding and worse, corporate naming rights. Ever since, the zoo is plastered with signs and plaques with corporate names, which I find jarring-- it mars the whole experience for me. I would hate to see this in our national parks! Surely if corporations value our NPS, they should be willing to donate WITHOUT product placement, logos, naming rights and fawning acknowledgements plastered around such unique beauty. I realize that the parks are in crisis, but the govt. needs to step up to the plate or answer to their constituents and local economies who depend on the parks.
-Mary Kissane, University City, MO
We go to National Parks to escape from cities, billboards, commercials, advertising, and plain old civilization! That is what they were set up to be—protected havens of wilderness and wildlife. Teddy Roosevelt saw the incursions and destruction of unbridled commerce and set up the parks as protected areas for us and our descendants. All I want to see in a park is those green and brown signs telling me where the latrines are, which way the road goes, camping locations, and to be careful of marauding moose, wily coyotes, nesting birds, and hot springs. That's it. McD's and their ilk have the whole rest of the world to pave over with their signs and labels. These parks belong to me and my family and friends (ya know like citizens) and I say no advertising!
-Rose Anne Hamilton, Aalsgaarde, Denmark
Give us a reprieve from the relentless pressures of commercialism. Resting in some of the most beautiful places on earth, we can feel the sacredness of nature and find life-giving refreshment. To advertise in National Parks would be an act of Promethean cynicism.
-Julie Payne, Studio City, CA
My children face enough commercialism in life. Please maintain our parks as a natural refuge from marketing and commercialism.
-Brooke Arthur, Nashua, NH
I have recently had the opportunity to visit Wind Cave National Park and Badlands National Park in South Dakota. I chaperoned 16 high school, juniors as they traveled to the parks to learn about animal behavior and geology. Visiting these parks with my students was a wonderful experience because they were allowed to escape from the busy, noisy world where they are constantly targeted by big business. I would be very disappointed to find the Parks exposing these kids to advertising and sales of any kind. Please recognize the value of being in the moment and enjoying our Parks for the beautiful, quiet and peaceful places they are designed to be. Keep advertising out of OUR National Parks.
-Michelle Seremet, Fiskdale, MA
National Parks are a place of peace and reflection. They are beautiful, natural places where we can get away from it all. Please do not allow them to be destroyed by those who can make a dollar by throwing up a bunch of signs and naming our natural places after their corporations. What a travesty this would be. Thank you.
-Teresa Smith, Woodstock, IL