100 Reasons Why the U.S. National Parks are Still Amazing

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As you may already know, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of America’s National Park Service. Over the course of the year, there will be a number of celebrations of this milestone, with the NPS gearing up to make this one of the most memorable 12 month periods in the history of the parks. In honor of this auspicious occasion, I wanted to share a piece that I wrote for About.com that is my own personal way of saluting not only the Park Service, but the amazing national parks that it washes over.

Last week I put the finishing touches on an article that is called 100 Reasons the National Parks Remain America’s Best Idea. As the title implies, I shared 100 interesting, unusual, and down-right cool facts about the NPS, as well as the numerous national parks, monuments, memorials, and other units that it presides over. In writing this piece I tried to have a bit of fun with each of the items I shared, while hopefully providing some new bits of trivia that even long-time national park visitors might not have known. Here’s a sampling of just a few of the things that I wrote:

14. The National Park Service employees more than 22,000 people on a permanent, temporary and seasonal basis. It also has over 220,000 volunteers working in parks across the U.S.

31. Like to hike? Cumulatively, the national parks have more than 18,000 miles of trails.

66. Famous naturalist John Muir once famously said “No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite.”

If you’d like to read the other 97 reasons the national parks are so amazing, you’ll have to click over to About.com to read the full post. Needless to say however, I am a big fan of America’s national parks, and I’m looking forward to celebrating the completion of the Park Service’s first century throughout 2016, and preparing for the start of its second in 2017. 
Kraig Becker