Parks Are More Than Just Land 

Max Cauchi, Staff Writer

Government funded Parks in the USA are everywhere, especially in Washington state, and it can be hard to figure out where to go and why. Before you understand where to go and why, you need to understand how to be a respectful visitor to the landscape and how National Parks were created and why they were created. 

Parks have been around since the late 1800s with the first National Park being Yellowstone. It was established in 1872 and was the first of many parks to be created. The government created these parks because, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior, As more Americans began living and working in urban areas, escapes to the outdoors became more important. People wanted to explore a wide-open world and breathe fresh, clean air. To fill that need, national parks took on the roles of outdoor classrooms and wildlife preserves.” National Parks themselves are made due to the desire to be more attuned to nature; however, humans can be very harmful to the environment. Once National Parks started to become nation-wide and more popular, more rules started to be needed to preserve wildlife and keep the environment clean and unpolluted. The leavenotrace rules were made, which are, according to the National Park Service, to plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, waste properly, leave what, you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, be considerate of other visitors. Many of these rules can be completed with relative ease but some likwasting properly and what to prepare can be harder as they can be very vague and hard to understand. Sophomore Ava Gonzolez believes that one of the most important things is to make sure to bring some food and trash bags to clean up after yourself. Overall, the most important thing is to try your best to pick up all your trash and be respectful of where, and what you are surrounded by. If there is ever confusion about what to do, ask a park ranger about the rules or do a bit of research before visiting the park that can be found online through eacpark’s website. 

Now that you know how to be responsible while visiting National Parks, knowing where to visit is next on the list. With the diversity of all the Parks in the U.S.A. and even just in Washington, it can be hard to decide where to visit. In Washington there are many different parks that have many different pros and cons. According to More Than Just Parks,the best park to visit in America is “Olympic National Park [the most] diverse national park in America, hands down. This park has everything from lowland forests, striking mountain ranges, pristine alpine lakes, sparkling rivers, temperate rain forests (the largest in North America), iconic wildlife, and over 50 miles of wild coastline!” Freshman Avani Awasthi also believes that this park is the most memorable, saying “I recommend Olympic National Park because of the view.” Olympic Park is located near Port Angeles and is a beautiful and diverse Park full of different plants and animals. If you are one for picnics and nice walks, this is the park for you to go to during summer, but, if you are looking for more adventure and action, I recommend Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. According to Visit Issaquah, the Park is “A world-renowned destination and over 120 acres of single-track mountain bike trails. Located among lush evergreen forests, this premier mountain bike park hosts monthly events in education and trail maintenance. Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park provides an exceptional riding experience for riders of all ages, styles, and skill levels.” If you enjoy mountain biking and want to test your skills, make sure to visit this park over summer break. Make sure to be careful and not to hurt yourself or others and follow the rules that they have set in place. This park is worldrenowned for its mountain biking trails and it inot only used for biking but also for its mission to spread knowledge of how to be respectful to the environment. This method of teaching children about the importance of wildlife is one of the valuable uses of National Parks 

Some Issaquah students believe that all the travel is not worth the reward, including senior Gabriel Ombrellaro, who says ‘I like to drive to Lake Sammamish and go with friends, we could eat there or swim, and there is a trail we can walk.” While other students are not as picky with what parks they visit like junior, Warren Huang, who believes,“The most important part of a national park is the view. What park you visit is up to you but remember to follow the seven leave no trace rules and most importantly have fun.