Why parks matter

The national parks represent the best of America — our rich natural, historical and cultural heritage. But without proper funding, our parks are in peril.

What’s at stake? Priceless memories — and the memories we haven’t yet made.

Let’s remind our leaders why parks matter. Share your park story now or remind yourself to share it later.

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John Muir said it best: "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn …

I have always been a very outdoor kind of guy. Personally I have always been more of a Ocean kind of fella but, when I met my girlfriend over a year ago, she was very big into National Parks and more of the Mountain scene. Last year, her family took me t…

I was lucky enough to spend 4 summers from 1980-85 working in Glacier National Park, MT at the Many Glacier Hotel as the leader of the John Damberg Music Trio and I also was a boat captain on St. Mary's Lake for the Glacier Park Boat Company in 1985. Dur…

Part of my Master's research took place in and around Olympic National Park, specifically the coastal cliffs and in the South Fork Hoh River valley. I haven't yet found a feeling quite as powerful as falling asleep to the force that created and is create…

The western end of South Dakota will always hold a special place in my heart. For as long as I can remember, my family made an annual pilgrimage to those welcoming, beautiful Black Hills. As I grew up, I began to cherish those trips more and more. I was …

This is a photo of my daughter as we backpacked through Canyonlands to celebrate her 24th birthday. I love the contrasts out there in that gorgeous place. The "mountain" in the sky foreshadows the mountains we'll see when we climb up over those rocks in…

  NPCA Staff Pick

This is truly one of my favorite National Parks! I have so many great memories here. Will be back again.

The moment we arrived at the Dry Tortugas I fell in love with the views from atop Fort Jefferson. What I love about The Dry Tortugas is that you can explore Florida's natural wonders and get lost exploring a historic site all at the same time. A feeling …

The most surprising element of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon was the warm glow that filled the canyon, even in it's darkest moments. When my best friend and I arrived at the North Rim it was after 8pm and very dark, yet through the trees I could sti…

~Family of 7 went camping every summer visiting all the National Parks & many state parks in every state in the interior USA~ Now I visit the smaller parks I have not been to and have enjoyed making comparisons throughout the world as a single adult. T…

When on the U.S. side of Glacier Park, I had an harrowing experience! I was with two other friends and we were hiking a trail. When we were on a slope going down, and I was on the top, I saw two grizzlies - a brown sow and a beige cub - ahead of us. I…

I was born on land that is now part of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. In a little log house. The house was owned by the Gibson family. J. N. Gibson and my father, Tip Yeary, used to make moonshine whiskey under a rock cliff that had a col…

This is my favorite park. I have spent four of my week-long vacations here each year, enjoying the serenity and beauty of the area. I have spent endless camping and hiking adventures here. The water, the mountains and the birds all bring love to my hear…

My husband and I are fortunate enough to own and operate a bed and breakfast near The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It offers so much hiking variety and beauty it rejuvenates my soul every time I experience it! It's my favorite place to go to tr…

  NPCA Staff Pick

I have traveled all over our amazing country, and after visits to nearly all of the large, great National Parks, I feel so blessed to have seen the wonders of Zion in the moonlight, feeling dwarfed my the tall redwoods in California, the girth of the mig…

I have been a 'parkie' now for two decades. Much of that I worked in parks around this amazing country, and all this time I have searched for and through every park site I could visit. I have visited over 350 units so far. Different family members…

This past summer my mom flew out to Colorado at the end of my internship to join me on a road trip up to Glacier National Park. I have always been close to my mom, but the way hiking in a National Park brings people together is a whole new story. Our f…

Had the best time of my life visiting the south side of the most beautiful place on God's good earth. If you can only do one thing, I suggest the helicopter ride. What a thrill that was. We spent 7 days at one of the convenient lodges located just s…

I took this photo on my mom's birthday August 20th of 2013 and she liked it when Lady Liberty always stand above the pedestal in the Harbor. She thanked me for accepting my gift to her and it was a fitting present that I gave to her. This is our fifth ti…

We timed our arrival for dawn so we could catch that iconic photograph of Mesa Arch that has been seen forty bajillion times on the Internet and on coffee tables across America. We weren’t the only ones with the same idea as there were already about a ha…

A number of years ago, my husband, two young daughters and I were having a picnic on a golden day amidst the Park's radiant, autumnal colors--a privilege we Virginians appreciate. The picnic area was deserted except for another family in an area that was…

I backpacked part of the A.T. during on a snowy weekend, March 2013. It was an incredible experience where I suddenly realized: this land is our land. Being a city-locked student means that I sometimes forget how beautiful this continent is. America's pa…

Have you ever seen heaven? I think I have, and those who come to Cape Hatteras National Seashore might even consider me to be some kind of 'Guard'-ian angel. Cape Hatteras has a long history of guardians. From the Lighthouse's to the Lifesaving Stations,…

  NPCA Staff Pick

If it is possible to fall, and fall hard, head-over-heels in love with a place, I did in 2006 for Acadia. When we crossed back overland at the end of that first visit, I wept. Funny thing, the next visit (at least one each year since) also brought tears …

  NPCA Staff Pick

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