Tuesday, August 3, 2010

America's State Parks

In response to looming state park closures across the United States, park directors have created a website, America's State Parks, which is an educational campaign to raise awareness of the budget crisis and importance of our state park system.

Stephen T. Mather, founder of the National Park Service, envisioned that the states and the federal government needed to work together to develop a great national system of parks. By working together the nation would develop a national system of parks that would be the envy of the world.

The America's State Parks website will help capture the collective strength and importance of the great park systems developed in the 50 states. With over 6,000 units and more than 725 million visits, America's State Parks works to enhance the American quality of life.

Thanks to the vision of Stephen Mather and his contemporaries more than a billion visits a year are made to state and national parks (725 million state park visits and 276 million national park visits).

As Mather said, "Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness ... He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the nations parks."

Visit the website and plan a visit to the state parks in your area ... or in the area you'll be traveling to. Even if I only have 30 minutes while I'm traveling, I like to drop in for some refreshing views (much better than those on interstate highways). I feel blessed to be able to participate in giving back to what nature has given me ... the admission fees are minimal ... but the loss of the parks would be a great tragedy.

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