As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial, there is a movement afoot to allow corporations the right to plaster their logos around our national treasures. Since it was established, the National Park Service has thwarted attempts to commercialize these nature preserves. In the past, the parks have limited commemorations of large donations to modest, easy-to-overlook plaques. Now, during the park service’s centennial celebration, the organization is deciding to court corporate money by offering up a lot of opportunities for naming rights. The government is hoping to avoid going too far by maintaining a ban on out-and-out advertisements or naming park roads after companies. What is allowed, though, seems not much better. Company names and logos can be conspicuously attached to: Visitor centers, benches, lockers, bricks, educational guides, park buses and trams, and youth programs. So far there has not been a move to allow corporate sponsorships for park naming rights, AT&T Grand Canyon anyone?
Photo Credit John Vlahakis