Happy 100th Birthday National Parks Service!
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

Happy 100th Birthday National Parks Service!

Why We Should Still Celebrate, Even After The Party's Over

13
Happy 100th Birthday National Parks Service!
pexels.com, unsplash.com

This past Thursday marked the 100th birthday of the founding of America's National Park Service, which protects and maintains a vast 'collection' of government protected lands that house not only natural beauties, but some of the U.S.'s most endangered species. From the reds and golds of cacti-strewn deserts, where canyons are layered like colorful cakes and the stars are painted in swirling milky ways across the night sky, to verdant forests, where white-tailed deer and moose inhabit the edges of marshlands and foxes scurry across thin dirt trails, National Parks are more than a reprieve from the stress of city sounds. They are proof of a continuing passion for protecting and cultivating what little 'wild lands' survive in America's paved and developed world. Each acre is a plot of history, containing within each square of land a story, whether it be the tale of a late 18th century orchardist, or the melting of giant, mint blue glaciers millions of years ago. They even represent centuries of human curiosity, of a full century of mountain climbing, backpacking, kayaking, camping, and a plethora of other outdoor activities, as well as containing the memories of each individual who steps onto their paths, both good and bad. Heck, they even inspired a famous cartoon of one picnic basket-snatching bear and his adorable sidekick, while simultaneously creating their own mascot who reminds us continually of the dangers of forest fires. Which is why I think the birthday of the National Parks Service is such a big deal.

While the parks have been gaining a lot of attention this year, mostly because of the Parks Service's centennial, there is the question of what will happen when this year passes? With all the great hype comes more visitors, and in 2015, they saw a total of 307, 247, 252 visitors come walking, hiking, and skipping through some of the country's most pristine wilderness. And while yes, the numbers are impressive, there are still some millions of people laying about suburbia and smog-filled cities who think the only National Park that exists is Yellowstone. Which is so not true. Though one of the most famous, Yellowstone isn't the only park that you should, can, and maybe one day will see. There's Acadia in Maine, the Appalachian Trail winding its way along the East coast (you don't have to travel the whole thing!), and a multitude of historic homes and museums for those who aren't really into delving deep into nature. It's easy to find a park nearby (they even have a search engine!), and they're just about in every state. Even if you aren't into nature, you can still enjoy the parks. Many have easy dirt roads or simple paths you can meander along and simply enjoy the views, without the hard-scrabble of deep-woods exploration.

However, it's important to keep in mind what the National Parks Service is preserving. It's easy to see if you're situated firmly in a park, whether that be in some past president's home, or in Hawaii, hiking along the side of a volcano (jealous). Sometimes you can see it in the little bit of lichen-covered, gap-ridden stone wall that some landowner two centuries ago built to mark the edges of his land. Or in the endless horizon that stretches from the edge of a rocky shore, where the ocean meets the land in a harmonic crash of waves. Or even in the small, but ubiquitous, blooms that seem to spread everywhere along your prairie trail. Simply put, I wish everyone would at least consider seeing what the pretty pictures on the internet look like in reality, and will continue to wander and explore the parks long after their 100th birthday has past. Also, wouldn't it be great if one of your pictures ended up appearing during their bi-centennial celebrations?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

3872
panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!

8188
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-white-book-1043514/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-typing-on-type...

Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

19264
To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

21077
The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date
rawpixel

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Winter Break As Told By 'Friends'

Is a month at home too much to handle?

13422

If you're anything like me, winter break is a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel after a long, stressful semester. Working hard for 15 weeks can really take a toll on a person mentally, physically AND emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to be back at home with your family and friends, but after a couple weeks, it can get, well... boring.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments