Hot Springs National Park


Teddy knew what he was doing for the future of the United States when he designated land, sites and monuments as National treasures. After his death in 1919, his legacy continued as more valuable pieces of our country were recognized for the wealth they inherently brought to the people. One such prized possession is the Arkansas Hot Springs National Park. When we think of national parks, its not an elaborate catering menu of complex ideas, what normally comes to mind is a vast area covering thousands of acres, away from the city and a relaxing drive out of town.

This relatively little gem is located in the city with it’s world renowned bathhouses situated right on Central Avenue, the main street in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is considered small, covering only 5,500 acres of land, but what it has to offer is more than grand vistas and sweeping views. The day I visited, renovation was being done on one of the minor bathhouses, and movers were bringing in new porcelain tubs used for individual bathers. I was told that the natural hot springs, with their mineral-rich waters required constant upkeep to maintain a desirably high standard.

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Theodore Roosevelt Our Park System’s Hero


I believe Teddy Roosevelt knew exactly what he was doing when he began his nature campaign to set acres of land, monuments and historical sites aside for the future of America. He loved the outdoors and our heritage and wanted to assure that every generation to follow was going to have the same advantage. Roosevelt knew that the land grabs were going to be inevitable. He knew that the purveyors of commerce would soon deplete the very resources they sold to make their money with little to no regard for the replenishment of said resources. He knew that he needed to protect our natural beauty before it was raped and destroyed.

In today’s political atmosphere, the elite 1% would all convene at a local island resort and figure out how they could pool their money in order to stop him. Inland, limousines from far and wide would line-up outside of dark faced buildings and oil magnates, pharmaceutical company CEOs, and land developers would all get together with an agenda that would use the land that belongs to the American people for their own personal, financial gain. Theodore Roosevelt surely had his opponents, but to his credit the overall good of the people was served.

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Ailments of Our Park System

Map of Parks

This year’s US Presidential election campaigns are not mentioning anything about public land preservation. Did Teddy not teach us anything? We need to hold a constant vigilance when it comes to safe guarding our national treasures. I realize there are pressing events and circumstances that need to be spotlighted and to the lay person our Park System appears to be running smoothly. Is it? What are the challenges we are facing within our Department of Interior?

When we think National Parks we often let our minds go in the direction of wide open spaces and natural landscapes filled with rock outcroppings, forest, wild animals, lakes, geysers and waterfalls, but there is so much more to the whole picture. The Park System caters to a wide variety of historic and cultural resources as well, like colonial Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and old town Boston to name a few, along with the Everglades and New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon. These parks hold our heritage and world history at their hearts.

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Working In The Park Service


This year, 2016 marks the centennial celebration of the US National Park System. 100 years of land designated and devoted to the preservation of nature and the enjoyment and education of those who visit. Over the past century the number of parks has grown to over 400. It’s the dedication and work of the Park Service that has maintained the dream of open land reserved for natural beauty and wonder. Each park is staffed by men and women who have passed their legacy as caretakers down from generation to generation. They take their jobs seriously and must be well trained to handle a position as a National Park steward.

When fire or flooding occurs, the way these situations are dealt with can change the course of the park’s ecosystem for decades. It’s not a matter of rapid prototyping a tree or 3D product development of a species, it takes years to bring back a balance. Great patience and personal care are administered to every living thing that makes up the whole of the area’s eco-system. The life of the park through its fauna and flora is a major role, but also tending to the well-being of the parks’ millions of visitors has to be a top priority.

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