ARLINGTON, Va.—Virtual tours of some of America’s most important places—its parks, waterways and even battlefields—went online this week in Street View in Google Maps. The Conservation Fund and its partners unveiled a host of sites across the Eastern seaboard that they hiked, paddled, and explored with the Street View Trekker, a mapping tool from Google that allows anyone with a screen and internet access to journey beyond the road for a tour of iconic American sites where The Conservation Fund played a role in permanent protection.

Last year, Conservation Fund staff and its local partners borrowed and set out with Trekker, a 4-foot-tall, 40-pound camera and backpack, that’s part of Google’s project to create a digital reflection of the world for people to explore and enjoy. Now, these spectacular places that The Conservation Fund and its partners protected are online for the world to see. The result is a virtual tour of eight sites, stretching from Delaware to North Carolina. Now, the fields of Antietam National Battlefield, the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay, and the misty caves of North Carolina’s Chimney Rock State Park are available to visitors and outdoor enthusiasts across the globe seeking a glimpse of places they might not typically see on the web-based mapping service.

“We hope that panoramic, fully navigable imagery of these places on Google Maps enables people to explore and learn about these sites of historic significance and national pride,” said Deanna Yick, Google Maps Street View Program Manager. “The imagery collected in partnership with The Conservation Fund truly brings these important locations to life.”

“For three decades our entrepreneurial staff has worked with the best partners to find innovative conservation solutions that make economic sense,” said The Conservation Fund’s president and CEO, Larry Selzer. “Conservation means including people, not excluding them.  Google Trekker enables people everywhere to experience the beauty and significance of the places we protect—even if they aren't able to travel there. As we become more of an urban nation, and as the demographics of our country continue to change, reconnecting people—especially young people—with nature will be less about bringing kids to nature, and more about bringing nature to the kids.”

Take a virtual tour with Street View Trekker of places The Conservation Fund and its partners helped to protect.

Pay Homage to Hallowed Ground of the Civil War: Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland
Conservation Partner: National Park Service

Discover The Water Trail That Built A New World: Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Chesapeake Bay
Conservation Partner: Chesapeake Conservancy

Explore the First State’s First National Monument: First State National Historic Park, Delaware
Conservation Partner: National Park Service

Get Lost in the Long Island Sound: Farm Creek Nature Preserve, Connecticut
Conservation Partner: Norwalk Land Trust

Find Fields of Gold: Connecticut River Valley: Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, Massachusetts
Conservation Partner: Franklin Land Trust

Hike to Extremes at a Natural Wonder: Grandfather Mountain State Park, North Carolina
Conservation Partners: Grandfather Mountain State Park and Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Wonder at the Grandeur of Granite Peaks: Chimney Rock State Park (Hickory Nut Falls Trail), North Carolina
Conservation Partners: Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock Management, LLC, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Go Wild in the Blue Ridge Mountains: DuPont State Recreational Forest (High Falls Trail), North Carolina
Conservation Partners: DuPont State Recreational Forest, North Carolina Department of Agriculture

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land since 1985.

Press Release Contacts
Whitney Flanagan | The Conservation Fund | wflanagan@conservationfund.org
Susan Cadrecha | Google | 703-797-2507 | scadrecha@google.com