One of the things I love most about working for MOTUS is learning about cool companies that might fly under most people’s radar. Recently I was introduced to Parks Project. With many of our national and state parks struggling financially and lacking physical resources to staff visitor centers, protect historical locations, or even maintain and clean trails; a small group of passionate outdoor enthusiasts got together and decided to make a difference. Parks Projects is a social venture that sells unique collections of soft goods and in turn funds park projects by sharing the profits from their sales.
Each collection of goods designed by Parks Project is used to fund a specific park project. Whether it’s supporting bear conservation in Denali National Park or habitat restoration in the Muir Woods, each project falls within Parks Project’s corporate goal to “Promote, Protect, and Preserve” our open spaces. Here’s a short video Parks Project created about their mission:
The three main corporate goals of Parks Project are more than just some sort of marketing gimmick to sell soft goods. The Parks Project team embodies them by living and breathing them. They like to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty working on projects and being actively involved. In fact, we could all take a page from Parks Project’s book and do our own part to make sure our open spaces stay open for future generations. Let’s take a look at the three areas Parks Project focuses on.
According to Parks Project, “Promotion” is achieved through awareness and public education. They encourage customers to get educated and become ambassadors or advocates for parks programs. By working with the National Parks Conservation Association, people can get involved by donating their time, money, or using social media like Facebook and Instagram to become a parks promotor. Parks Project also hopes that their clothing will work as a vehicle to help spread the message and generate awareness. They’ve also adopted the hashtag #radparks to help spread the word and they encourage others to do the same.
We can “Protect” our parks through stewardship and responsibility. Parks Project encourages people to work with local and national policy makers, give to the National Parks Foundation, and get involved with local and national groups focused on preserving our parks and open spaces.
The “Preserve” part of their mission can be achieved through volunteerism and practicing a policy of “leave no trace” when visiting our parks. Just as off-roaders, hunters, and recreational shooters take a “Tread Lightly!” approach to the outdoors, we should all leave whatever areas we visit better than when we found them. Parks Projects even has a “step by step” guide on their website letting you know how to set up your own cleanup or trail maintenance day at a park near you.
More than just another clothing company selling goods, Parks Project has set out to actually make a difference. They’re creating conversations about our parks and building public awareness. They’re also actively engaged and working hands-on to leave our parks better than when they found them. All of that is something I can definitely get behind.