Scenic America

Preserving and Enhancing America's Visual Character



Scenic America preserves and enhances the visual character and scenic beauty of our country.

Ruling year info



Mr. Mark Falzone

Main address

727 15th Street NW, Suite 1100


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NTEE code info

Environmental Beautification (C50)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Botanical, Horticultural, and Landscape Services (C40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We advocate for a scenic America for all peoples and all communities. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization currently has 46 state and local chapters and affiliates and more than 40,000 members and supporters around the country. Scenic America works to foster citizen engagement in scenic conservation issues by advocating for policies that encourage scenic beauty at the local, state and national levels by providing research and educational and technical assistance, and by assisting in the formation of chapter organizations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Scenic America

Scenic America believes all communities possess scenic assets. Scenic conservation occurs with an educated citizenry, a corps of committed scenic activists, and a business community that understands the economic value of beauty.

We support public policy that defends natural beauty and distinctive character like: billboard and sign control, scenic byways conservation, supporting our gateway communities, utility undergrounding, scenic conservation education, tree ordinances, controls on wireless telecommunications towers and devices, and context sensitive road design.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


“Power of A” Gold Award 2021

American Society of Association Executives

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of policies formally established

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Scenic America is proud to announce $16 million in funding for the National Scenic Byways program in the FY 21 Appropriations Bill – the first new byways program funding in nine years.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Scenic America is seeking to protect the value of the country’s transportation infrastructure and the character of our communities that we, as a nation, have created with taxpayer dollars. We should not enable blight to deplete these public assets.

In order to accomplish this, we advocate for the following policy goals:
1. Advocating for our country's scenic byways
2. Support for our nation's parks and open space
3. Fighting against visual blight on our highways
4. Undergrounding unsightly overhead wires

Taking dramatic charge of the visual environment can be a job creator and a property values sustained. Studies have shown that higher visual standards result in higher assessed values.

Investment in scenic preservation and enhancement should be seen as an integral part of our national and local policymaking. In the end, taking pride in our places will affirm our best instincts by integrating beauty into the lives of all Americans.

In addition, our long-term goal is to change the mindset of society to better appreciate scenic resources. To that end, we sponsor educational programs to instill scenic values in our country's youth, and awareness and understanding of scenic conservation issues among the general public.

Having the nationwide strength and identity of the Scenic America brand solidly behind each affiliate can leverage extraordinary opportunities. In particular, it will facilitate the generation of revenue from local philanthropic sources. Affiliates can draw upon and benefit from the fundraising expertise of the national office without having to expend vital and already limited resources. With the hub supporting the spokes, the result will be a more vibrant and robust organization protecting the scenic beauty of America.

Scenic America combines policy expertise with effective advocacy and communications. Our advocacy work includes direct lobbying and mobilizing grassroots and grasstops supporters. One of the key technologies Scenic America employs in our communication strategy is state-of-the-art constituent relationship management (CRM) software, a tool that will allow us to communicate in fast and powerful ways with our supporters, funders, public officials and the media. We also make new research tools and new information available to local scenic conservation supporters to aid their efforts.

We have a visionary Board of Directors that wrote a 44-page policy paper, "Taking the Long View: A Proposal for Realizing America the Beautiful." This important document lays out the next decades on progress that should be made regarding scenic beauty.

We also have very talented staff. Mark Falzone was selected to serve as President of Scenic America in April 2017. Prior to Scenic America, he served as Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum, and before that was a five-term elected member of the House of Representatives in Massachusetts. As a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures he was twice elected to the Executive Committee. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Since Mr. Falzone came aboard to lead Scenic America, we have successfully (and rapidly) leveraged our assets to bring policy change to Capitol Hill. In a time of divided and gridlock in Washington, D.C., Scenic America was able to work on a bipartisan basis to author legislation that was signed into law by the president in 2019.

Stopped the construction of thousands of billboards around the country. Providing technical assistance to tens of thousands of citizens, community groups and public officials across America. Helped to establish the National Scenic Byway Program, which has resulted in the designation of 150 roads and 25,000 miles of scenic byways.

Our recent victories include the presidential signing of the “Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019,” which reopens the nomination process for National Scenic Byways. This is a major victory, the first time our organization has shepherded a bill from its writing, through passage in Congress, to presidential signing and enactment as law.

Scenic America was also a key supporter of the Great American Outdoors Act, which was signed into law in Summer 2020 and restored key funds to our country's national parks.

Thanks to the Reviving America's Scenic Byways Act, in February 2021 the FHWA announced the creation of 49 new National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. Through Scenic America's advocacy, this program also received its first new funding in a decade, with $16 million appropriated to support scenic byways around the country.

Scenic advocates in the Houston business community convinced city officials to pass a ban on new billboards in 1980. Since that time the city has gone from 15,000 billboards to fewer than 1,500.

Other select accomplishments:
We helped establish the Journey Through Hallowed Ground encompassing important Civil War sites throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
Developed 51 state and local affiliates around the country.
Scenic Philadelphia commissioned a study which found that homes in that city within 500 feet of a billboard are worth $31,000 less on average than those further away, and each additional billboard within a census tract reduced home values by nearly $1,000.
Helping to stop new billboard construction in more than 1,000 communities nationwide.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We advocate for a Scenic America for all people and communities.

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Recently, Scenic America received feedback that the system we use for digital petitions did not have a nonbinary title option. After contacting the third party petition company, it became apparent that their service did not include such an option. Our President, Mark Falzone, met with the CEO of said company, to discuss the importance of including an option for nonbinary constituents. The CEO has agreed to include a new nonbinary title in the petition form builder moving forward.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Scenic America

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Scenic America

Board of directors
as of 03/15/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Dawida

Scenic Pittsburgh

Term: 2020 - 2022

William C Jonson

Ronald Lee Fleming

The Townscape Institute

Martha Fuller Clark

Ralph Becker

Ardis Wood

Michael Dawida

Scenic Pittsburgh

Kathryn Welch Howe

KWH Associates, Inc.

Hal Kassoff

Mary Kelberg

Leigh Moore

Scenic Walton

Rob Draper

Ardis Wood

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/7/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/15/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.