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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The last week of August 2016, the busiest week of the year (?), I was the last member of the family to head back to various states from a family vacation in Colorado. Instead of heading east I went north to RMNP, which I had not visited since the '60s. …

This past year my partner and I traded in our 3 bedroom home and everything it for a million unforgettable experiences. We purchased an RV, some good food and a National Park Pass. Over the next few months we traveled from CT to the Badlands to Yellows…

  NPCA Staff Pick

I have many park stories having grown up in Washington State. I've spent countless hours hiking mt. Rainier and mt. Saint Helen's, discovering caves, and enjoying nature. I love our parks and I hope that future generations get to enjoy and appreciate t…

In circa 1962, when I was 14 years old, our family visited Glacier National Park for the first time. My parents, sister & I were temporarily living in Poulson, MT; which is near the Park. My Grandparents came for a visit & one day all 6 of us piled int…

In 1992 we hiked the Grand Canyon from North Rim to South Rim and few years later South Kiabab. It was one of the most incredible adventures I had ever been on. It is an amazing place. I sat with bats flying around me as they left for the night, water…

In May and June of 2016, my husband and I visited Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, and Glacier National Park and enjoyed the beauty and majesty of these parks. We have senior passes and try to use them as much as possible. This donation was inspired by…

I first visited the Badlands National Park over the summer when I was in 7th grade in 2012, and it was one of the most fun trips I've ever been on. The park was so awe-inspiring and full of freedom to explore and climb around, to an outdoorsy adventurous…

Four women of a certain age, once college room-mates, try to get together every few years. One summer we 'did' Montana, in our straw cowboy hats and smiles. I had never been to a National Park before and I savored every moment. The sights, the sounds, th…

Gateway is the only National Park you can get to by subway! My wife and I often kayak and sail in the Jamaica Bay Unit. We count birds, tag horseshoe crabs and help restore eel grass marshes and oyster beds. Many of our photos end up including the Empire…

I have been very fortunate to visit dozens of our National Parks, but my favorite is Grand Teton. I am lucky because my family lives in Jackson Hole so I get to see this view often. This was taken December 2016 when we took a drive to spot wildlife. We…

We met both DUNN Brothers - Clay and Kinion to see the GRAND May 2016 YAVAPAI POINT

I donned my first pair of hiking boots at 42 years old and headed solo to a hiking camp in Southern Utah. When they felt we were ready for more challenging trails they took us to Zion National Park. I returned home in love with the thrill of the challe…

  NPCA Staff Pick

We were in North Dakota, at a campsite, planning our first ever visit to Mt. Rushmore. The day started with cloudy skies and rain. As we drove up the mountain, we realized that we probably couldn’t see Rushmore ...we were right. It was totally concealed …

My boyfriend and I shared four days backpacking in Yosemite National Park and it really grounded me about what is important in life. We had no cell phones, iPads, laptops, television, or radio and I enjoyed every moment of peace. Nature is the best med…

We visited most of the big Parks out West from our home in Arizona as the kids were growing up. Now our son and daughter-in-law live in Maryland and we visit the historical parks back East. We had such a great time at the beautiful Harper's Ferry Nati…

  NPCA Staff Pick

SPENT CHRISTMAS 2015 WITH FAMILY SNOWMOBILING....

My family and I visited Yellowstone in 2009 with another family. This picture shows the view we experienced the 1st morning we drove into the Park. We stopped at one of the 1st pulloffs we saw - and were greeted with this amazing vista.

I have just donated for the great courage and honesty of the Badlands Park Service. Great tweets! Let's hear it for scientific integrity!

I celebrated my 60th birthday hiking the spectacular trails of this park and seeing a glacier.

The Badlands was my first park west of the Mississippi. I still get chills thinking about the grand scale and peacefulness of the area. It inspired my desire to go out and explore other parks around the country.

This photo was taken last year during a trip to Cades Cove located inside the Smokies in Tennessee. What a great example of the wildlife we must protect. A black bear mother and her cub, one of three located on branches in the trees on a rainy day in May…

In April of 2016, I retired, sold my home, and took off on a seven-month, 23,410-mile road trip through 33 states. Along the way, I explored 30 national parks, hiking and camping in most of them. It was the most exhilarating journey I have ever made! W…

  NPCA Staff Pick

America's southwestern deserts are such special places. We love the Mojave Preserve's beautiful natural cactus gardens, rocky terrain, and panoramic vistas. Hard to believe such places still exist in southern California!

Yellowstone, August 2014, with my 2 teenagers. Lamar Valley, on a cool, misty morning. Watching the Junction Butte wolf family from a distance, seeing the pups and adults interacting. This was the first time my children watched wolves in the wild. They …

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