Apple to launch a National Parks donation program via Apple Pay

Apple today announced a pair of initiatives that will allow its customers to support America’s National Parks. Starting tomorrow, August 24, and continuing through the 31st, Apple says it will donate $1 to the National Park Foundation for every purchase made using Apple Pay online at, or through the Apple Store app in the U.S. It’s also introducing a National Park-themed Apple Watch Activity Challenge to accompany the donation program.

Starting on September 1, Apple Watch users worldwide who either walk, run, or do a wheelchair workout of 50 minutes or more will earn an Activity app award and stickers that are inspired by national parks. The 50 minutes is a tribute to Redwood National Park’s 50th anniversary, which is this year.

Related to these efforts, the App Store will also feature a round-up of some of the best apps to use to explore the U.S. National Parks.

Apple says the proceeds from the donation program will support the National Park Foundation’s mission to protect national parks. This includes projects focused on habitat restoration, historic preservation, and the Open OutDoors for Kids program.

“America’s national parks are treasures everyone should experience, and we’re proud to support them again this month by donating a dollar for every purchase made with Apple Pay at one of our stores,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, in a statement about the program. “These awe-inspiring places are our national inheritance, and Apple is doing our part to pass them on to future generations — just as extraordinary, beautiful and wild as we found them.”

The company also took the time today to highlight the success of a related initiative, saying it has protected and created enough sustainably managed forests to cover its current and future paper use. In partnership with The Conversation Fund, Apple has protected 36,000 acres of U.S. forests that are sustainably managed, it noted.

This is not the first time Apple has hosted such a challenge for the U.S. National Parks.

Last year, it ran the same event, making mention of the fact that Apple Pay was accepted at some national parks, like Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Muir Woods National Monument, for example. The event itself now has political undertones, given the current administration’s rethinking of national parks, and its interest in deregulating the oil and gas extraction on public lands.