7/30 of my national park memoir series - Yellowstone - the crown jewel of them all, some may say. America’s first National Park made possible in part by the paintings of Thomas Moran and other artists who enthralled people in the east and helped move Congress to action in 1872.
Now the park receives visitors from all over the world, last year over 4 million came through Yellowstone. That’s half the population of New York City - America’s largest city. After reading an article in The Guardian “Crisis in our national parks: how tourists are loving nature to death” I imagined this scene here.
Observing and being part of long traffic jams and eager visitors lining up for a campsite made me see my own role in all of this with a critical eye. Isn’t it better to have large areas of land where the bison and wolves can act out their ancient roles without human interference?
It is a remarkable experience to look into the eye of a wild bison, the U.S.’s national mammal continues to fascinate me, but what does it mean to love something? Maybe we don’t have to go everywhere. Maybe the solution is bringing the parks closer to home. Having less a need to escape into nature by designing our cities to give on a daily basis what these parks provide. .
Health. Peace. Wonder.