Imagine yourself in a National Park. Which one would you choose? Did you know that most Americans live within 100 miles of a National Park and don’t know it? I did not know that!
National Park Service
In fact, there are 401 National Parks across the United States. Wow, right?! And each park works to tell the story of our nation’s heritage. To act as the cultural fabric of our country. Our history is constantly evolving. I mean, we’re making it daily. The National Park Service wants to ensure that all Americans can find their history represented in the parks.
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.
The mission statement above embodies all that the National Park Service stands for and is the same across every park. The NPS feels as though people should feel both valued and important inside the park system. The lands should be enjoyed for people from all walks of life no matter their race or income level. They believe that regardless of where you came from, you can find your place within a National Park.
The NPS is also working to change the diversity within the parks in three distinct areas:
- the parks themselves
- within their employees
- their visitors
Both their employees and visitors reflect the face of America and are important to the diversity and integrity of the park system.
With over 22,000 employees across the United States, the Park Rangers know they have a great opportunity to make a difference in the world. The job is important and is a very competitive field to get into. Most of them start as volunteers, move into a seasonal job, and then transfer into a permanent position. I was told by a few Park Rangers that they have a great sense of community and their job is really just all about the community.
“We become our best selves when we come to National Parks.”
Our hiking guide, Katie, said this on our hike into the Grand Tetons. What do you think?
Learn more about the NPS by liking National Park on Facebook and following @GoParks on Twitter. Plus, be sure to follow the #ALEx14 hashtag to watch our adventures and to discover more about our incredible parks.