About Parks &
History and Purpose
An official partner to the National Park Service, Parks & History
Association was founded in 1968 to promote the interpretive, educational,
scientific, and historical activities of the National Park Service
in the National Capital Region. The Association has grown from
a single location in Washington, D.C.—home to many of the
nation’s oldest federal parks, monuments, and memorials—to
27 locations region-wide. The Association’s primary purpose
is to operate bookshops where park visitors can find a variety
of educational products to enhance their understanding of the park’s
themes and resources. In addition, Parks & History Association
serves local, national, and global audiences through direct and
indirect support of national park programs.
Parks & History Association works with park interpretive staff
to select or produce appropriate theme-related and site-specific
information about National Capital parks and monuments. In addition,
knowledgeable Association staff at bookshop locations provide important
park interpretation and information. Our staff greet visitors,
answer questions, and distribute park literature. They generally
free National Park rangers to conduct in-depth tours, participate
in school programs, and provide other interpretive services.
Association serves its partner agency and the public in a variety
of other ways as well. For more than three
has donated proceeds from sales as direct financial aid for curriculum
projects, educational programs, and scientific research; and as
indirect aid, such as by producing site brochures, trail guides,
and other publications for free distribution to park visitors.
Parks & History also produces for sale publications and interpretive
merchandise designed to engage visitors of all ages in learning
more about the nation’s parks, monuments, historic places,
and open spaces. Our products include such popular selections as
site-specific self-guided audio tours, booklets, postcards, activity
books, and collectible pins and medallions.
Parks & History
Association also contributes professional services on a national
level to assist in reaching
the global community
with the National Park Service message of education and stewardship.