In 1985, a hijacked TWA passenger jet leaving Athens for Rome was hijacked to Beirut Lebanon. The terrorists killed Navy diver, Robert Stethem, and threw his body down to the tarmac. The militants then took over the cockpit and defiantly waved their machine guns out of the cockpit windows. Images of that horrific event filled TV screens all across America as families gathered to watch the evening news. Concerned about traveling overseas, many Americans changed their summer plans and vacationing families flooded into the National Parks.
In that one year alone, visitation grew by 35% and even more in some of the more popular National Parks. The unexpected visitation created a massive backlog of maintenance and conservation projects, many of which are still on the books to this day and referred to as “deferred maintenance”.
Recently, the park service announced that 331 million visitors vacationed in the National Parks in 2017. Imagine this, with the population of the United States at 325 million, it is as if every person in the U.S. visited the national parks that year! The toll that takes on our parks is staggering. However, imagine this: what if 1% of those visitors volunteered to help preserve and maintain the parks. With all that support, the parks wouldn’t be struggling to keep up with maintenance.
We, at Nature Corps, invite you to be part of the 1%. Join us! Go behind the scenes with the National Park Service in order to build your personal conservation legacy and leave as one of the parks’ most valued VIPs.
Visit the National Park Service’s website for information on deferred maintenance, infrastructure news, and more.