Thursday, February 4, 2016


Time to celebrate the great outdoors! This year is the centennial of the National Park Service. Founded in 1916 “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations," there are currently 401 kinds of parks, including National Parks and Monuments.

The top 10 most visited parks, in order, are: The Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Olympic, Zion, Grand Teton, Acadia and Glacier.
One goal of the National Park Service is to reintroduce the parks to a new generation of Americans. Let’s look to the Monrovia Public Library for materials that will inspire and prepare readers to become park visitors. 

Horace Albright was present during the creation of the national park system and was its acting director. His classic 1934 Oh Ranger is the story of the development of park rangers and how their jobs included not just the protection of parks, but also the interpretation of their beauty. Another classic is This is the American Earth with park photographs by Ansel Adams. 

Monrovians are lucky to be geographically close to so many outdoor treasures. Frommer’s Easy Guide to National Parks of the West is a great introduction to what is available in California and nearby. 

National Parks: America’s Best Idea is the title of both a documentary film and an accompanying book. The DVD set is by Ken Burns and captures not only the uniquely American idea of conserving the outdoors for its people, but also the political fight to make it happen. Viewers and readers will be enchanted by gorgeous photography in both film and book.

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