Today is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, created to protect the wonderful tracts of wilderness, defined by Congress as National Parks, for all time. There are 59 of these sites spread across 27 states, and covering nearly 52 million acres (210,000 km2) and they truly represent something special.
My first introduction to them was many years ago as a teenager in the UK when I stumbled across the amazing work of Ansel Adams, particularly his stunning photography of the mountains in Yosemite, that were sold regularly in shops such as Athena, on the UK High Street. I had a huge poster of Half Dome on my wall for many years.
I would never have believed at that time that 25 years later I would actually be emigrating to the US, visiting Redwood and Yosemite National Parks from my new home in California and be able to take my own photographs.
The National Park Service does a great job of fulfilling their mandate to protect the National Parks and they also have a really nice website to educate us all on the parks and the other areas that are affiliated to the NPS or managed by them, such as National Historic Sites, Scenic Trails, Recreation Areas, Memorials, Battlefields, Heritage Corridors, and Waterways.
So, next time you or your family want some real quality time why not turn off the TV, check out their site and then leave your technology at home and enjoy some of the beautiful countryside that the United States has to offer?
Happy 100th NPS!
I seem to remember some of the Republicans in Congress recently proposing to sell off all the National Parks to the various states. Maybe we could use the Grand Canyon as a landfill site?
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Thank you for your comment, Brian.
In some quarters of society there’s an obsession with privatizing everything and selling off OUR assets, invariably at extremely low prices, to business cronies for the sake of so-called “efficiencies.” But, in my opinion, (a) the National Parks are treasures that were deliberately set aside for enjoyment of all of us at a time when people valued the health of society, and (b) the private sector is only ever interested in turning a short-term profit, with little real concern for such esoteric issues such as quality of life, or philanthropy.
Also, given our current wasteful nature we’d probably fill in about 3 years…!
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