National Park Service's Urban Agenda Resources


Publication Date


Over the past three years, the Institute at the Golden Gate (Institute) has supported the National Park Service’s (NPS) Urban Agenda. Urban Agenda is a call to action for a more collaborative, interconnected and relevant Park Service. As the Urban Agenda’s pilot phase comes to a close, it’s time to share out some of the lessons learned. The Urban Agenda has a suite of resources for park professionals to activate the Urban Agenda in their neck of the woods. Below we’ve highlighted a few of these resources that are now available on the National Park Service’s Urban website.

Urban Lights – Urban Lights is a collection of stories of national parks creating dynamic programming and new partnerships to increase relevancy to all Americans. This report shows how national parks are reaching park-poor communities, exposing youth to career paths within the Park Service, and connecting new audiences to the history and culture in their own hometowns. As the U.S. is becoming more diverse and more urban, the NPS is rising to meet the needs of the country’s changing demographics.  

ONE NPS Workshops Summary – ONE NPS workshops were gatherings to explore how the Park Service could better work across divisions, functions and hierarchies. Having a more interconnected Park Service is critical for park professionals to improve the impact and quality of their work. Intra-agency collaboration allows parks to better tap into relevant resources and rally support around shared goals. Parks and park professionals looking to increase intra-agency collaboration should check out this summary to build off the knowledge and ideas of their NPS peers.

Community Assistance Program Directory – Navigating the large ecosystem of NPS programs, partners and parks can be complicated. In order to better connect the community with NPS resources, the Urban Agenda has created a directory of 54 community assistance programs. The programs are categorized by the 5 types of assistance that they provide: national designations, grant and financial assistance, project assistance, investment and property acquisition assistance and internships, volunteer and professional development opportunities. 

The resources above are a small sample of Urban Agenda outcomes. continues to add more resources, and the Institute is committed to supporting the unique opportunities and challenges of urban national parks.  

Elyse Rainey

Program Manager