Have you seen the presidents on Mount Rushmore? Walked among the giant sequoias of Yosemite National Park? Stood on the precipice of the Grand Canyon? Explored an underwater shipwreck as a Junior Ranger?
The United States’ National Park Service turns 100 in 2016, but even before it was formed, 35 national parks and monuments were already in operation. We can celebrate a rich heritage of forests, deserts, mountains, sweeping landscapes, historical sites, and other treasures saved for our education and enjoyment.
Now it’s your turn: Choose from one of the options below.
1. Visit Find Your Park and determine what kind of park suits you best. Then write about your results.2. Write a personal recollection of a visit to a park or monument of any kind.
3. When Jason C. was preparing for his Eagle Scout badge, he obtained permission to volunteer in a local park to clean up the shoreline and add points of interest to the hiking trail. What can you do for your local park or monument?
4. As national parks were being created, there was a heated debate about whether the parks should be preserved “as is” for the best conservation and stewardship practices, with little to no human interaction so as to keep them pristine, or whether to open them to visitors who would enjoy their beauty but perhaps have a negative effect on the environment. Even today, this debate rages on.
Which side do you take? Should national parks be constrictive in their admittance policies, controlling the flow of humans through the environment, or should they be open to all to enjoy, as belonging to the people? Choose a side and write your opinion.
5. You are in charge of creating a new national park or national monument. What park or monument will you add to the system? Describe the land it will encompass or the historical value of the park and then defend your choice in a letter to the National Park Service.
6. You would like to add a new face to Mount Rushmore. Whose face will it be? Explain your choice.
7. Write a short story about someone who gets lost in a national park of your choice.
For five fun writing prompts on the Grand Canyon, follow this link.
Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Watson
Photo credit: Sharon Watson
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