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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

National Parks are Everywhere

I recently traveled to Southern California for a work training.  On a lark I decided to keep an eye out for national park images, references, and items on my trip. Over the four days I found references to Arches, Grand Teton, Alcatraz, Crater Lake, John Day Fossil Bed, Mount Rainier, the National Park Service, World War II Valor in the Pacific, and Yosemite for a total 10 national parks. 

This is the first time I've paid attention to the park images around me, but I'm not surprised at the number I spotted.  On previous trips, I've been struck by how prevalent park images are in ads, stories, products, movies, and in the news. So this time I decide to count them.

At the end of my adventure I found parks appear to be everywhere. The question is why?

While many may not be aware of it, National Parks are physical manifestations of what Americans most sacred places, and most important ideas, values, and history.  As such governments, advertisers, writers, entrepreneurs, and many others use the park image to connect to the values parks represent.

On your next trip or vacation pay attention to spot national park images. Perhaps a kind of park bingo can be played.

How many can you spot?

License Plate, Arches National Park
Presentation, Grand Teton National Park

Star Trek Movie, Alcatraz National Monument

Travel Magazine, Crater Lake National Park

News Story, Grand Teton National Park

Travel Magazine, John Day Fossil Bed National Monument

Mug, Mount Rainier National Park

News Article, National Park Service

Travel Magazine, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

Mug, Yosemite National Park
Sean Smith is a former Yellowstone Ranger, and an award winning conservationist, TEDx speaker, and author. He writes national park thrillers from his home in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park. To learn more about his thrillers click here or follow him on twitter: @parkthrillers

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