**Seeing can mean believing… more of my opinions on inclusiveness in the parks.**
I know some people who have gone to National Parks. They have seen the majestic beauty, right along side me, and have proclaimed how beautiful it was aloud. These same friends, they don’t really go to National Parks that often or at all anymore which is okay. These people saw the beauty, believe in the beauty, and will remember the beauty of these wonderful places forever. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
A National Park may not be their family vacation destination every time, but they may return someday. These people understand the importance, value, and impact these places have on the general population. They get it – because they’ve been there. Because these people have been there, they get why it’s important to protect and fund these places. These people then connect National Parks and the preservation ideals to other natural areas that need preservation. It can build.
Visiting a National Park, once or twice, has left an impression on these people. Will they return? Maybe. Will they remember the good times there and what those parks stand for? Definitely. It just takes one time, even if nature isn’t their thing, for someone to fall in love with the idea of National Parks, Monuments, Forests, etc.
Plant the seed and see what grows. We need to continue to get people of all areas of life/status/etc to these place to see for themselves – maybe only once. Maybe it isn’t their thing, but maybe it is. Even if it isn’t their thing, they’ll remember the trip and could see how important these places are for our country.