Agency Proposes Corporate Sponsors for National Parks

The National Park Service says it's planning to seek corporate sponsorship for park projects and facilities. That means that corporate donors could secure naming rights to park attractions. Critics of the proposed policy are worried about just how far this plan will go.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

The National Park Service is proposing new rules for corporate sponsorship of park projects and facilities. That means if companies donate money, they might be recognized by name on the site of the park.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

The proposal does not mean that the actual parks will soon sport corporate names, but critics are afraid that we soon might see something like, `The official beer of Yosemite.'

BLOCK: The Department of the Interior says that any corporate recognition will be tasteful, things like engraved bricks in a walkway or plaques with names of donors.

SIEGEL: But it's just too easy to imagine the possibilities for something more expansive.

BLOCK: There could be, `Thermos, official sponsor of Hot Springs National Park.'

SIEGEL: Or the AARP, on behalf of the endurance of the venerable, could lend its support and name to the Petrified Forest National Park.

BLOCK: How about the Lincoln Memorial becoming the Lincoln Mercury Memorial? Or, in a daring move, Toyota could sponsor Ford's Theatre here in Washington.

SIEGEL: Martha Stewart's corporation might sponsor Alcatraz Island National Park.

BLOCK: Or what about Clearasil's Crater Lake National Park? Rogaine could help out Yosemite's Half Dome.

SIEGEL: And just in time for the holidays, Chimney Rock National Historic Site could be brought to you by the St. Nicholas Center, devoted to discovering the truth about Santa.

(Soundbite of "Here Comes Santa Claus")

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.