Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Can You Donate To The National Parks Service? Trump's Salary Announcement Raises Questions

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Donald Trump has had more than a few problems making good on some of his campaign promises, like repealing Obamacare right away or instating a travel ban on Muslims. But on Monday he was finally able to follow up a campaign promise with action: Trump donated the first three months of his presidential salary to the National Parks Service. Which sort of begs the question — should we all be donating to the National Parks Service (NPS)? Are they in that much trouble?

Sort of. The president's proposed budget plan would cut funding for department of the Interior by 12 percent, which comes out to about $2 billion. When you put it that way, the department might prefer a revised budget including more than Trump's $78,333 donation on Monday.

A revised budget likely won't be coming anytime soon, but if you're worried about the parks and have a few extra bucks there are ways you can help out, too. There are lots of ways to donate to the NPS. You can choose your favorite park via an interactive map and donate directly to your local park. You can also donate to the National Parks Foundation, which is a Congressional advocacy group for national parks (though that money doesn't necessarily go to the parks themselves). There is also parks bookstore you can purchase books from that funds the foundation and many "friends of the NPS" organizations that you can support that stand by the national parks and advocate for them on the Hill. So you wont be able to hand the NPS a check directly, like Trump did, but you can support its existence in roundabout ways.

Ad failed to load

The reason you can't donate directly to the NPS is because it is a government entity, funded by the federal government, and not a charity, though Trump doesn't seem to know the difference. On Monday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer handed the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke the check. Zinke's a Cabinet member, so the move was akin to Trump handing Rex Tillerson, secretary of State, a few thousand dollars to renovate some embassies.

Nice gesture, right? Well, that's sort of all the check is. In addition to slashing the Interior Department's budget, placing a gag order on federal employees and scientists (including those at the NPS), and rolling back Obama-era climate regulations, $78,333 doesn't seem like all that much. If the president wants to protect the nation's parks, he could also do so through policy.

Ad failed to load

Critics of Trump's passing on the first quarter of his salary have also pointed out that the Trump family has cost American taxpayers millions already for travel and protection services. First lady Melania Trump and son Barron have remained in New York City, much to the chagrin of Big Apple taxpayers balking at the estimated half a million dollars extra (as opposed to security costs if she were living in the White House) per day to protect the family in the city. In addition to added security in New York, Trump has also taken 12 golf trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida during his short time in office so far, costing taxpayers around $3 million each, according to ThinkProgress. It looks like critics on Twitter, at least, would prefer Trump fund the National Parks Service and use his own money — the salary — to pay for his wife to live on 5th Avenue in New York City and their weekend getaways.

But, it's the president's salary, so he can do what he wants with it. Although if his administration keeps on the way its been going and continues to slash budgets for parks, it might be smart to add the NPS to your list of places to support anyway.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}