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

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 collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • 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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • 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?


Scenic America

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


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Scenic America

Board of directors
as of 3/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ryke Longest

Duke University School of Law Nicholas School of the Environment

Term: 2018 - 2020

William Jonson

Rachel Thurlow

Ronald Fleming

The Townscape Institute

Martha Clark

Ralph Becker

Peter Neumann

Nick Palumbo

Leighton Powell

Scenic Virginia

Ardis Wood

Michael Dawida

Scenic Pittsburgh

Kathryn Howe

KWH Associates, Inc.

Hal Kassoff

Mary Kelberg

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/25/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data