100 Year: National Parks Conservation Association
Do you remember your first step into a national park?
I was an awkward 12 year old just beginning to appreciate what the word “travel” meant. My parents didn’t like to travel much, so I frequently tagged along with my best friend, Alessandra. I tagged along on every opportunity I could when her parents took their Summer road trips. My first visit to a national park was Biscayne National Park in Southern Florida just outside of Miami. I remember the aromas of the emerald river canals as Alessandra and I snorkeled in between the kelp forests. I remember the humid warm air grazing our skin. I remember the manatee patch I bought at the gift shop. I hoped to see a manatee, but they were all sound asleep in the depths of the river. As I look back on my first national park visit, little did I these parks would be engrained in my life in such a meaning way and make an impact to my personal growth.
For my first donation of 2019, I have chosen to give back to National Parks Conservation. For a century, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been playing a key role in protecting and enhancing America’s national parks. In the latest Spring issue of their magazine, they highlight 21 conservation triumphs. Here are some of what was highlights:
Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, UT - NPCA help to protect over 450,000 acres from harmful energy development
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC & TN - Improved air quality in 2011 by brokering a historic agreement with the country’s largest power provider to retrofit or retire 54 of its 59 coal fired boilers
Alaska National Parks & Preserves - In 1980 and in collaboration with the Alaska Coalition, NPCA helped secure passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act that protects over 100 million acres including 43.6 million acres of new national park lands.
Stonewall National Monument, NY - NPCA supported efforts that result Congress to designate the first park site dedicated to LGBT history in 2016
Yellowstone National Park, ID, MT, WY - Shortly after NPCA was founded in 1919, NPCA began a century of advocacy in the world’s first national park by protecting Yellowstone’s elk population and defeating a proposal to dam the Yellowstone River.
Cheers NPCA on your 100 anniversary and cheers to another 100 or more years of working to protect and preserve each of these special sites for future generations. The national parks’ richness and history must be preserved through conservation efforts. Harnessing deep love for our parks is a vital component of their livelihood. To learn more about how to give back to public lands, check out my previous blog post.