Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Crossing the boundary into Joshua Tree National Park nearly brought me to tears.

The National Park Service makes me proud to be an American. Their lands belong to all of us, defended from development and exploitation. They manage the protection of native plants and animals, and the habitats on which they depend. The national parks are home to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes our country has to offer.

I take public access to land seriously. Experiences in nature are essential in nurturing a conservation ethic. Public land is where I adventure, create, and reflect. Without it I’d be lost in a time warp from pervasive screens and LEDs. Spending time in nature helps ground me to reality.