Skip to Main Content

Visioning Documents [2008-2016]

2008 - 2016:
Blue Ridge Parkway
Second Century Commission:

In 2008, the National Parks Conservation Association convened an independent commission charged with developing a 21st-century vision for the National Park Service. The National Parks Second Century Commission consisted of a diverse group of nearly 30 national leaders and experts with a broad range of experience, including scientists, historians, conservationists, academics, business leaders, policy experts, and retired NPS executives. It met five times and heard from conservation and preservation experts, teachers, volunteers, and a range of park advocates and stakeholders. At three additional public meetings, commissioners solicited ideas and priorities from concerned citizens.

Eight committees examined issues unique to eight different areas: Science and Natural Resource; Cultural Resource and Historic Preservation; Education and Learning; Connecting People and Parks; Future Shape of the National Park System; Funding and Budget; Governance; and Capacity.

Summary reports of each committee were presented to the commission for review and discussion. Some of the recommendations in the individual committee reports were unanimously accepted by the commission; others were identified as ideas worthy of further discussion and consideration for future actions. The commission then developed a final report.

Photo: Blue Ridge Parkway

A bald eagle
A Call to Action:

The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Launched in 2011, a Call to Action is a strategic document outlines four main themes. They are:

  • Connecting people to parks

  • Advancing the NPS education mission

  • Preserving America‚Äôs special places

  • Enhancing professional and organizational excellence



'Reflection' icon

Spirit of the Place...
Are there activities that are inappropriate at particular sites because of the meanings those sites hold?

Learn More:

'Learn More' icon

Call to Action report


'Activity' icon

Park Visitation