It’s National Park Week! Every year in April, National Park Week celebrates America’s national parks. It’s a time to explore the natural wonders that these protected areas have to offer. From ranger-led programs and guided hikes to nature walks and wildlife viewing, there’s something for everyone. Also, it’s a time to learn about sustainable practices like Leave No Trace to protect the biodiversity of our national parks. National parks truly play such an important role in helping to protect our natural environments and should be respected.
Never been? Well, the first day of National Park Week you’ll be able to enter all national parks for free. What an awesome opportunity to experience the wonders of nature without spending a ton of money.
So now that you know about the week, do you know the history of our national parks? Back in the 1800’s people were exploring out west and calls grew louder to protect those lands. In 1872, President Grant signed into law the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act, creating the world’s first national park. Over the next few decades, several more were established, including Sequoia, Yosemite, and Mount Rainier. Today, there are 63 in the United States, covering over 84 million acres of land.
Well, you do not need to travel very far to visit a National Park! We actually have 6 sites right here in Michigan? They are Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historic Park, The North Country Trail (NCT), Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, & the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. I will detail each below and share with you which ones I have explored!
If you can’t make the trip, or are just curious to learn more, be sure to check out the Barack Obama narrated 5-part series called “Our Great National Parks” on Netflix. You can view that trailer here.