Spring has sprung and all around the States, this Friday is Earth Day: a chance to spend time outdoors, preserve our environment, and recognize the beauty in nature.
So it is fitting that Earth Day also falls in the midst of National Park Week, an official holiday week stretching from April 16 to the 24th. Each day, national parks across the U.S. are celebrating with event-limited programs and experience, not to mention entrance fees will be waived on April 16 to kick off the week.
Today, there are now 63 national parks in the U.S., ranging from the volcanic landscapes in Hawaii to the towering pines in Maine. The parks showcase the numerous ecosystems of the United States and also make efforts to keep the environment clean and preserved.
Our mission is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.Mission statement of the National Park Service
Visiting the national parks is a great way to explore all of the unique sites across the country and spend time outside. There is an entrance fee (which varies from park to park), but all of the funds go to support and preserve the park instead of for profit.
Although there are no national parks in Georgia (yet), there are several close by. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the U.S., is right at the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. There are also several state parks and national monuments that make great day trips.
|First||Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)|
|Largest||Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (Alaska)|
|Most visited||Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)|
|Least visited||Gates of the Arctic National Park (Alaska)|
|Newest||New River George National Park and Preserve (West Virginia)|
Spring is also wildflower season, so blossoms and blooms in wooded parks are certainly expected this year. Make sure to pay a visit to your nearest national park or check out one of the National Park Week’s digital experiences on their website.
There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.Franklin D. Roosevelt