Americans are visiting more parks but spending less time in them. What does this mean for the future of our wild spaces?
Author Wallace Stegner once called our national parks “America’s best idea.” Not everyone agrees, but few would deny that the idea of preserving areas of great scenic, historic, cultural, or scientific value is a worthy concept.
Photo by Anita Ritenour
As we celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, the organization created to administer our multiple treasures, it might be helpful to pause and ask whether in another 100 years, we will still have constituencies for our parks and wildlands.
Photo by John Fowler
One important step toward increasing the time both children and adults spend in wild nature—and thereby the chance that they will continue to advocate for our national parks and wildlands— is extending Americans’ vacation time.
Photo by Kevin Vance
With vacation time so short, especially in the United States, our trips to parks last a week at most.