Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ABC Wednesday--N is for...







eagle in flight, Olympic National Park, Washington




This is National Parks Week!

While visiting Olympic National Park over the weekend to participate in Washington Coastal Clean-up Day, we learned that this is National Park Week. We were presented with a wonderful evening program about the history and riches of America's national parks.

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The first area to be set aside as a national park was Yellowstone--first in the world--followed by Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Mt. Rainier. Our Mt. Rainier National Park was established in 1898.



The early days of the parks were not well organized, and the National Park Service was not formed until 1916 and a ranger corps established some time after that. Early rangers had to do everything from law enforcement to latrine cleaning. Rangers now specialize--interpretation, education, law enforcement, maintenance, administration.

The parks have come a long way from when this photo was taken in Sequoia in 1928.
More than 300 National Parks, National Monuments and other sites are administered by the National Park Service, and the idea spread to many other countries which have set aside areas special to them as National Parks.

Here in Skagway, Alaska, in part of the Yukon Gold Rush National Park, a ranger explains the history that is spotlighted here.

Cultural artifacts are highlighted at locations such as Wupatki Pueblo National Monument in Arizona.

Wukoki Pueblo, Wupatki National Monuments, Arizona

Parks are protected homes for critters--the elusive ones such as this pika..
...and the little show-offs such as this "camp robber" who followed us posing for two miles.
Rangers can interpret the environment for young and young at heart.

Grove of the Patriarchs, Ohanepecosh, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

The variety in our National Parks is overwhelming, from a peek at the peak...

Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

...to an arching span...
Arches National Park, Utah

...caves...

Lehmann Caves, Great Basin National Park, Nevada

...ocean beaches...
Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

...canyons grand and small...

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

...more glorious mountain views...
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

...what water does in small or large occurrences...
Zion National Park, Utah


We have learned a lot over the years about the residents of our National Parks, so that this by zoom lens...
bear in the meadow, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

...has replaced this for the protection of both the bears and the humans.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 1928

And we know that in order to participate for our enjoyment...

ready for a backcountry hike, White River Campground, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

...we also must participate in the parks' protection and preservation.

Washington Coastal Clean-up Day, Olympic National Park, Washington

Ken Burns, who has produced a documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea, was in Seattle on Monday speaking about the film and previewing some clips from it. We weren't there either, but you can hear his interview from earlier in the day on KUOW here.



Visit more Ns at ABC Wednesday Round 4.

Say thanks to the ABC founder at Mrs. Nesbitt's Place.

12 comments:

Carol said...

You have some great photos of National Parks here...I have been to many, but not all...would love to see all...each is beautiful in it's own way....

Liz said...

This is a fabulous post, katney. I love it.

RuneE said...

You do put a lot of work into your posts - and I'm very glad that you do. This was highly enjoyable and I learned a lot.

R and J said...

Informative and beautiful - like always!

photowannabe said...

My goodness, that was a lot of work you put into this post. Very informative and I'm so grateful that Parks were set aside so we can enjoy the wonders of nature. Great choices and pictures for the letter N.

Martha said...

Great overview of the National Parks, they are treasures and the more people who appreciate them the more support they will get.

Joy said...

Great introduction to the naional parks of your country you certainly are spoiled for choice. Hurray for the national parks of the world and may there be more of them.

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderful selection of Parks and photos! Aren't we lucky?

PERBS said...

You have been blessed to visit/work in many beautiful areas in teh US parks. Thanks for the tour!

Jay said...

I am envious of your glorious National Parks, and I'm impressed that they are taken care of so well.

I love the picture of the ranger - and the black bear, too!

Dragonstar said...

Wonderful photos Katney, and a fascinating post. Thank you.

Lew said...

My kudos to the Park Rangers and volunteers who help maintain our Parks! And kudos to you for these marvelous images! From Yosemite to Antietam to Independence Hall we have found the Rangers to be friendly, knowledgeable and entertaining.