Passionate About Our National Parks? You and Subaru Have Something in Common

National Parks. Commitment. Sustainability. Inclusivity. Loyalty. These are words that come easy when it comes to Subaru, the carmaker that focuses on more than selling cars.

Subaru National Parks
GGTC Forester and Me in Shenandoah National Park Photo Credit Greg Holder

Subaru Loves Our National Parks. And I love Subaru.

First impressions matter, but let’s face it, those are usually based on appearance. It’s when you get to know someone and discover that your passions align that your affection deepens. Maybe your relationship turns romantic. Perhaps you’ve just met a person who will become one of your closest friends. In some cases, that affection focuses on a company. In my case, Subaru.

My husband and I have owned a Subaru Outback, and now we have a Subaru Forester. If we needed a second vehicle, I’d pick a Subaru Crosstrek. And I know he has his eyes focused on the Wilderness models. To say we’re Subaru loyal is an understatement. But it’s more than the quality vehicles that attracted us to this brand. Subaru executives often say they are “more than a car company.” That’s not advertising speak, it’s true.

Related: The Subaru Outback Wilderness Will Leave You Feeling Rugged, Wild and Free 

Subaru National Parks

Subaru sponsored experiences and gear for the Black People Who Hike organization’s trip to Acadia National Park. NPF Photo: Amanda Prouty Photography

This Carmaker is Committed to Our National Parks

For over 20 years, Subaru of America has supported and partnered with organizations to protect our national parks now and for future generations. In 1999, Subaru partnered with Leave No Trace – an initiative to educate people about the importance of using our outdoor resources responsibly. Through partnerships with organizations like the National Park Foundation (2013) and the National Parks Conservation Association (2014), Subaru has contributed to their efforts to enable a legacy of responsible stewardship and preservation.

In 2021, Subaru became a premier partner of three NPF initiatives: Outdoor Exploration, Resilience and Sustainability, and Parks of the Future. Outdoor Exploration supports programming that eliminates barriers and expands access to the national parks, Resilience and Sustainability supports sustainable and resilient park operations, and Parks of the Future harnesses the power of technology and innovation to help the National Park Service plan for the future, including how to improve infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles in and around national parks.

Related: Find Freedom with a Subaru Forester Wilderness

Subaru National Parks

Subaru employee volunteer and an event attendee taking a water break at Arches National Park. Photo: SOA Photo by Elijah Alaka

Subaru Supports Access for All in our National Parks

“At Subaru, we’re all about being More Than a Car Company, and to us, that means helping every individual connect with the great outdoors,” says Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “National parks are places where people make incredible memories in unforgettable environments, and we saw in ParkVentures (part of NPF’s Outdoor Exploration initiative) a way to help make those experiences possible for communities that have been historically excluded or felt unwelcomed. Everyone should feel welcome in our shared national treasure.”

Through the National Park Foundation’s Outdoor Exploration initiative and ParkVentures program, Subaru is helping more people create life-long relationships with the outdoors. The focus of the program is to inspire everyone to explore the wonders of nature. In 2022, through the support of Subaru, ParkVentures supported the efforts of more than 55 organizations to connect more people, including those with differing abilities, to meaningful experiences in our national parks. Among those organizations is Black People Who Hike. Subaru developed a direct relationship with this organization which aims to help address the lack of representation in parks by empowering, educating and engaging Black people in the outdoors.

“What we love about Black People Who Hike is that they’re helping to increase the representation of Black and other communities historically excluded in the outdoors by building welcoming spaces and encouraging participants to have a joyful relationship with nature,” says Bethke. “We always strive to be more than a sponsor, and in October 2022, we joined them on a tour through Acadia National Park. For many attendees, it was their first experience in a national park, and it was a meaningful and fun weekend for all who participated.”

In November 2023, Subaru provided the vehicles, gear, and experiences for the retreat in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Previously, the company provided support for a visit to Maine to explore Acadia  National Park.

Related: Love Our National Parks? Your Road Trip Can Help Save Them 

Subaru National Parks

Sunset on the Outback in Shenandoah National Park. Photo: Greg Holder

Are You a Subaru Fan for Life Now? I am.

My first impression of the Subaru brand began at the New York Auto Show several years ago. Ever the researcher, my husband had narrowed his choices for a new vehicle down to a couple of brands. One of those was the Subaru Outback. We must have returned to look at the ones on display 10 times – each time, he had more questions to ask the representative. The attractive design, abundant safety features, and overall reliability attracted us both.

Purchasing our first Subaru shortly after the New York Auto Show, we began venturing into our favorite outdoor adventure spots. As time passed, we learned about Subaru’s commitment to our National Parks and realized we were destined to be Subaru fans for life.

Subaru has provided over $70 million to organizations focused on conserving America’s national parks. The funds supported responsible outdoor education, recycling, composting and waste reduction operations, future EV infrastructure, and other programs that help increase access to the outdoors. As someone who enjoys hiking in our national parks and believes everyone should feel welcome in these natural wonders, I think it’s safe to say our passions are aligned.

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Terri Marshall grew up road-tripping around the country. Her love for the open road remains strong today. A travel... More about Terri Marshall