A Nation's Parks: A Nation's Story
People who lived thousands of years ago speak to us through petroglyphs at Canyonlands and Joshua Tree National Parks and artifacts such as the stone tools left behind at Bering Land Bridge National Monument.
We commemorate the soldiers who fought for freedom at the American Revolutionary War battlefields at Saratoga and Minute Man National Historical Parks and at the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg and Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Parks.
The tragedy of the forced removal of the Cherokee from their land still echoes along the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
We remember the struggle for civil rights that continues to this day and the people who stood up and challenged injustices toward people of color at the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.
America’s national parks are full of incredible stories.
The stories found in our national parks reflect who we are as a nation and serve as the foundation of our very democracy, which is why we must do all we can to ensure they are recounted and retold, now and for generations to come. It’s important for us to embrace our most defining triumphs as well as reflect and learn from our tribulations — and remember that parks can be places for healing.
There are also stories of those who have given so much of themselves — their time, talents and resources — to make sure all of our 418 national park sites are protected so that others may hike their trails and take in their history. And those stories are worth recounting too.
You’ll read about some of those people in this year’s annual report. As history continues to unfold, and as parks continue to need advocates, the stories will grow, as will our collective voices to protect them.
This is the story of us all.
Thank you for all you do for the National Parks Conservation Association and our national parks.