America’s State Parks helps capture the collective strength and importance of the great park systems developed in the 50 states. With 9,817 units encomapssing 20,142,089 acres, and more than 867 million visits, America’s State Parks works to enhance the American quality of life.
Stephen T. Mather, the first director the National Park Service, envisioned that the states and the federal government needed to work together to develop a great national system of parks. By working together the nation would develop a national system of parks that would be the envy of the world. With 312 million visits in 2022 to the national parks, 1.18 billion visits a year are made to state and national parks.
As Mather said, “Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness…He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the national parks.”
The mission of the National Association of State Park Directors is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy.
The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) is devoted to helping state park systems effectively manage and administer their state park system.
The Association is composed of fifty state park directors, plus territories of the United States of America, have full membership privileges in the organization. The Association has also established memorandums of understanding (MOU’s) with what is referred to as Associates and Affiliates that share common goals. Honorary membership in the Association may also be conferred on any former member that has served at least three years as a state park director.
The Association is organized into six regions based on reasonable geographical groupings of members. The direction and management of the Association is vested in a Board of Directors comprised of ten members representing the six regions, President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer and Past President. NASPD board members representing each region of the country will govern the America’s State Parks alliance. Members should refer to the Constitution, By-Laws and Policies for further information on the purposes and objectives of the organization. On behalf of the members, the day to day responsibilities of the Association is performed by a paid staff person, referred to as the Executive Director.
This site provides members a common forum for the exchange of pertinent information regarding state park programs and services such as best practices, conferences, and other content. Further, this site provides the public a variety of other services including: direct links to state parks in each state, current research about state parks and related topics, employment opportunities within the various states, resource links, and the Association’s awards program.