What Is The National Park Service? Explore 7 Awesome Parks (Slideshow)

Care2 Earth Month: Back to Basics

This year, Care2 decided to expand Earth Day into Earth Month, since there is so much to explore when it comes to the environment. Every day in April, well have a post about some of the most important topics for the environment, exploring and explaining the basics. Its a great tool to help you get started with helping the environment or help explain it to others. See the whole series here.

America’s national parks are some of the primary reasons I never moved back to my native UK. There are a total of 397 parks, covering more than 84 million acres, and they include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails and even the White House.

The official mission of the National Park Service (NPS), which is a bureau of the Department of the Interior, 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. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

The nation’s first National Park was Yellowstone, established by an Act signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, but the Park Service itself was not created until August 25, 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law.

And, no surprise, a lot of people appreciate this natural beauty: 281,303,769 recreation visitors came to the National Parks in 2010.

Here Are 7 Awesome Parks:

At Olympic National Park in Washington, go floating!

First Photo: szeke; second photo: Harry Hunt


In Glacier National Park, Montana, you can backpack through some of the most majestic scenery south of Alaska:

Photo Credit: jessicafm

Explore Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah if you’re looking for amazing sandstone formations:

Photo Credit: annjoch

In Acadia National Park in Maine, you can go paddling between empty islands for a few days:

Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn

At Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, you may spot humpback whales, orcas, seals, eagles, brown bears, as well as giant ice columns falling into the sea:

Photo Credit: PhilaMike

Sand sledding and sandboarding are serious sports at Grand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado:

Photo Credit: ukrainian1989

Sequoia National Park in California was my first experience of a National Park in the US, and remains one of my favorites:

Photo Credit: Judy Molland

Why not make some time this year to explore one of these gorgeous areas?


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candice p.
candy peters3 years ago

we have many beautiful parks here in canada as well

candice p.
candy peters3 years ago

so many beautiful places to visit

LMj Sunshine

Awesome, thank you for sharing!

LMj Sunshine

Awesome, thank you for sharing!

LMj Sunshine

Awesome, thank you for sharing!

LMj Sunshine

Awesome, thank you for sharing!

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago


Sarah M.
Sarah M.3 years ago


KS Goh
KS Goh3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Sharon O'malley
Sharon O'malley3 years ago