Date of Award


Degree Name

Leadership Studies


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Eugenia Lambert, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Bobbi Nicholson

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Williams


This research aims to better comprehend how the environmental preservation issues of underfunding and overcrowding of America’s parks, recreation areas, and environmental surroundings are solved through quality leadership. These environmental issues are national, state, and community problems. Currently, there exists a wealth of literature on the environmental problems caused by overcrowding and underfunding. Unfortunately, the successful problem-solving ideas identified throughout these works often do not connect with an element of leadership. This research helps fill this identified gap in the currently available environmental preservation resources. This mixed methods study explored the perceptions, ideas, and successful solutions exhibited by environmental preservation leaders from national parks, state parks, and localized environmental groups. Surveys were constructed to gather responses in the areas of securing the necessary resources to solve underfunding and overcrowding issues, whom their agendas were promoted toward, and what strategies increased community involvement for their cause. The findings of this study are informative and provide methods for environmental preservation groups and leaders to attack the intertwined issues of lackadaisical funding and overcrowding. In addition, any community member who wishes to help stabilize America’s wonderful natural surroundings may find this study inspiring and act as a catalyst for their involvement in environmental preservation. This dissertation advances the understanding of identifying problems, the importance of building a coalition to solve the problems, and working hard until results are achieved.


Environmental protection – United States.

Parks -- Economic aspects – United States.

Parks – Environmental aspects – United States.

Recreation areas – Economic aspects – United States.

Recreation areas – Environmental aspects – United States.