Donor Carolyn Knoll

Knoll Carolyn Large

Like so many other baby boomers, Carolyn Knoll decided that retirement was not going to keep her from living an active and adventurous life.

After 40 years working at a successful job in the corporate world, Carolyn decided to start the next chapter of her life by joining the Peace Corps and went to live and work in the Ukraine. When she returned, she moved to Hawaii to be closer to her sister, and ended up becoming a park ranger for the National Park Service. Carolyn explains, “I visited the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii many times before working there. My father was in the Navy during World War II, and the memorial meant a great deal to him.”

Enjoying the national parks isn’t new to Carolyn. In fact, you could say it’s in her blood. She grew up in California spending time with her family in many of the area parks including Yosemite and Carolyn’s grandfather helped build the roads in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Visiting the parks had a profound effect on Carolyn. “I think it is important to understand the importance of our national parks and preserving our wilderness and the wildlife that live there. Morally, we should be stewards and protect nature, not destroy it.”  She adds, “No advance in technology is going to be a substitute for nature.”

Carolyn had been a monthly donor to the National Park Foundation for years when she decided to include the National Park Foundation as a beneficiary of her will. She explains, “Contributing to the National Park Foundation and adding them as a beneficiary in my will was one way I thought might help. I think protecting the parks is of utmost importance, and the foundation does a great job in this area contributing millions to different projects.”

When asked what she would say to others who are considering a planned gift to the National Park Foundation, Carolyn shared, “Having done research and some soul searching, I would ask what importance others attach to our parks and monuments. If we believe them to be important for whatever reason, then we must do all we can to help protect them.”

Like Carolyn, anyone can include a gift to the National Park Foundation in their plans, and there are a variety of ways to do it. Contact Nicole Engdahl, Vice President of Planned Giving, to have a confidential conversation of what gift options might work for you. You can contact her directly at (202) 796-2526 or email her at

Every gift to the National Park Foundation through your estate plan helps to ensure that the history, beauty, and majesty you experienced in the parks will be there for future generations to enjoy.

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