Are you a big fan of our national parks and public lands? We sure are! Experiencing the beauty and grandeur of nature is a profound spiritual experience for many. For evangelical Christians like us, it reminds us of our Creator. As the Bible says:
“How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all”; and “In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him”; and “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof.” (Psalms 104:24, 95:4 and 24:1).
Our national parks and other public lands are essential to our quality of life. They make available to everyone what belongs to God. They reflect our highest ideals as a nation: that everyone is welcome because all individuals are created equal, endowed with the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To step into a national park and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation is to experience freedom and the richness of life as persons made in the image of God.
Our national parks have never been more popular, with 331 million visitors last year. But such popularity has helped to exacerbate a growing problem: a huge backlog of nearly $12 billion in needed maintenance. Just as the dwellings we call home need to be maintained, so too do our national parks. As the head of the national parks Conservation Association, Theresa Pierno, puts it: “From Gettysburg to Yellowstone to the Everglades, deteriorating historic buildings, rundown trails and crumbling roads throughout our National Park System are in desperate need of repairs.”
What does the backlog look like in your state? Check out a breakdown by state and park here. You may be surprised by just how much work needs to be done in your favorite parks.
Do you want to help with this effort? Thank your Senator for cosponsoring OR encourage them to sign on here!