The first parcels of the property were acquired in 1990 by Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops. The park is managed by the Dogwood Canyon Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the canyon’s natural plant and wildlife environment. The Foundation promotes environmental conservation by maintaining the park and providing the public with an unspoiled setting for exploration and the enjoyment of various outdoor activities.
The purposes of the Dogwood Canyon Foundation are to promote natural conservation and preservation, and to preserve the natural environment and its wildlife and plant life by acquiring and maintaining ecologically significant, undeveloped land and preserving it for the benefit of the general public. To achieve its purpose, the Foundation owns, operates and maintains the Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.