I just returned from the most spectacular vacation at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Words cannot possibly begin to describe the beauty of this world wonder. The whole time I gazed at the Canyon, I couldn’t help but think how grateful I am that the Park was preserved and is meticulously maintained for my family and I to enjoy. How fitting is it that next week, April 17 – 25, is National Park Week? Each year around this time, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation set aside this week to celebrate our country’s historic landmarks and environmental treasures. The good news is that you don’t have to travel very far to be part of the celebration.
“Together we are owners of this land, and this National Park Week, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation invite you to pass along this tradition,” the National Park Foundation website says. “Introduce a young person to their national parks and introduce them to a new world of experiences that can shape their future, protect our environment, and preserve our American legacy. Share a park, and shape a life.”
There are three ways that all Americans can help keep our national parks safe for our children. One: visit them. Our parks are accessible to everyone so that we can enjoy them and learn from them. Two: support them, either through volunteering or making an important donation to keep our parks alive and well. Three: pass them on to our children by making an effort to show your children as many national parks as you can.
And exactly how many national parks are there? I could hardly believe it when I learned this, but there are 392 national parks in America. They include some of the largest parks, like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park, and also many monuments like Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. And don’t forget some amazing historic sites, such as the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Independence National Historic Park, and the Ellis Island National Monument.
The National Park Foundation is constantly looking to preserve land for future use as parks. Currently, the Foundation is building the Flight 93 National Memorial in western Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed on 9/11. In order for both old and new parks to thrive as part of our national parks, we all need to help. Why not make a donation today to the National Park Foundation? For all donations made online or at any Macy’s store between April 5th and 30th, Macy’s will match the donation dollar-for-dollar, up to $500,000!
Whether you support the National Parks by visiting them, or donating to them, remember what Pete Seeger sang so long ago: “This land is your land, this land is my land.”
For more information about our National Parks and how you can help, check out
National Park Foundation
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