About the Foundation

About the Foundation

Our mission:

The Foundation works to enhance visitors’ experiences at state parks by partnering with individuals, corporations, and other entities to support innovative projects that increase inclusivity. 

Public spaces are for everyone, and the Foundation focuses on ensuring that all visitors feel welcome and safe. Funds will be used to enhance existing waterways and to create an accessible experience for all.

A couple hiking in an Ohio State Park.

Ohio’s 75 state parks, from the shores of Lake Erie to the waters of the great Ohio River, are among our most treasured places.

And they are accessible to all Ohioans. Our state is one of only seven in the nation where park admission remains free. Because of this, everyone can enjoy the benefits of our parks—whether it be by wandering trails, attending community events, spending time with friends, or simply finding moments of quiet respite in the outdoors.

People in kayaks in an Ohio State Park.

These green spaces are a powerful outlet for recreation and wellness. Each year, millions of visitors explore the parks. In 2020, the parks hosted 2.7 million overnight guests. Thousands more hike, bike, and paddle across the system’s 1,500 miles of land and water trails or enjoy recreation availed by the 70 sparkling lakes. As national interest in outdoor activities—especially camping, hiking, and kayaking—continues to rise, our park system is a more valuable asset than ever.

A couple being photographed while hiking in a state park.

Ohio’s parks are also economic engines for the state and the local communities where they are found. Visits to the park system generate more than $500 million in economic impact each year, contributing to Ohio’s continued vitality. 

School children learning about nature in an Ohio State Park.

Like most things we value, our parks require continued stewardship and reinvestment. The Ohio State Parks Foundation was formed for this purpose: to protect and enhance our scenic landscapes and advocate for their future.

With your support, the Ohio State Parks Foundation can continue to care for and enrich the parks we love.