America’s Best Idea

I just wrapped up what I’d like to call my birthday week in which I spent most evenings watching the premiere of The National Parks documentary on PBS. Last Sunday, I recommended that people donate to the Park Service in place of gifts to me. After watching the final episode (the 6th, each 2hrs long), I couldn’t resist reminding you why the parks are “America’s Best Idea”.

Reworked Denali from McKinley Princess

Reworked Denali from McKinley Princess

The final episode does a great job of summing up the purpose and history of the parks. If you only have time to watch one episode, watch this one (and/or the first one). These are not just the sweeping landscapes of America; they also consist of historical monuments where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream speech” and where Japanese-Americans were interned during WWII. The National Park System preserves America’s irreplacable links to the past.

This is where we were
This is what we’ve loved
And now it’s in your hands
– Terry Tempest Williams

All six parts will be available streaming online through Friday. The DVDs will be released on Tuesday, currently $64.99 on Amazon (35% off). If you’re feeling more philanthropic, consider replacing your next meal out with a donation to the parks instead. In addition to the link on my Facebook, you can also donate directly to the National Park Foundation.