Today was Earth Day! In the U.S., the National Parks had a weeklong celebration (aka National Park Week), with free admission over the weekend and all sorts of activities.
As an American, I often feel ashamed of my country. On the world stage, we do so much boasting and self-appointing despite the glaring injustices within our own borders. But one thing I believe the U.S. can be extremely proud of is the National Park system. This is an ongoing dedication to the preservation of the land itself, affirming that it belongs to no one and is open to all.
There are 59 National Parks and counting. Here are a few.
Caption: Old Faithful erupts every 45 to 80 minutes to heights of 100 to 180 feet. It can dishcarge as much as 7,500 gallons of hot water during an eruption.
Caption: This tremendous monolith of granite, carved by glacial action, rises vertically over 3,500 feet above the valley floor. It has withstood all forms of erosion to become perhaps the largest exposed monolith in the world.
This postcard is made of wood!
Stevens Canyon Road Lookout, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Dedicated 1899.
The smallest National Park, and the oldest federal reserve, declared Hot Springs Reservation in 1832.
Caption: About nine million years ago the Teton Range began to rise and the floor of Jackson Hole started to subside. A series of deep cracks called fault zones separated the mountain block of the earth’s crust from the valley block. With each episode of ancient earthquakes, the mountain block would rise and the valley block would sink. Occasional earthquakes remind us that mountain building continues.
Here’s to wilderness preservation, and to enjoying nature wherever we may find it.