National Parks Traveler – Ken Burns’ “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea:” Ten-Year Review

After long days at our respective jobs, the gym, fishing, and errands, my husband and I met on our long, brown couch. Balancing dinner on our laps, we fired up the laptop and made a (metaphorical) bee-line to Amazon Prime to watch our month’s long obsession. No, not Game of Thrones, nor catching up on the Avenger’s movies. Instead, we tuned in to Ken Burns’ documentary series “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”

Broadcast in the fall of 2009, the series is now nearing its tenth anniversary. In a bit of an understatement, I remarked to my husband, “A lot can happen in a decade.” How does the series hold up in 2019?

A Bit of Luck

The series covers the inception of national parks in the 19th century and continues until about the 1980’s. As a lover of the national park system as a whole, I was vaguely aware that Yosemite and Yellowstone were the first sites, though the system wasn’t officially incorporated as a U.S. government department until 1916. And yet, what stands out to me after watching the entire series is how accidental it all seems.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Read the entire article at the National Parks Traveler!

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