National Parks’ Overlooked Beauty

By Faith Gonia

As America’s land falls subject to ever-expanding urbanization, I feel incredibly thankful for our country’s magnificent National Parks. Though primarily recognized for their untouched beauty, areas of environmental preservation like Yosemite or Bryce Canyon offer far more than just their stunning views. 

To combat climate change caused by the use of fossil fuels, the National Park Service has implemented a variety of renewable energy projects. Ranging from solar panel arrays to power the visitor center in Death Valley, to an on-site dam producing hydroelectric power in Glacier National Park, their eco-friendly developments reduce carbon emissions and fight against global warming — National Parks bring value to both our lives and generations to follow.

Aside from their contributions to climate action, National Parks maintain pristine environments for wildlife to enjoy. Residents of cities like Saratoga or Almaden Valley frequently express fear over the presence of coyotes and mountain lions in their neighborhoods. They set up cameras and declare their disapproval at the “predatory” animals roaming their driveway. We tend to assume authority over a habitat to which we arrived last, and in turn disregard species whose deep-rooted homes have become ravaged with dangerous traffic and constant noise. Perhaps we are so engrossed with the idea of a threat roaming our streets, that we have failed to consider ourselves as predators to local wildlife. National Parks provide ecosystems unaffected by human activity, where mountain lions, coyotes, and anything in between can live freely and naturally.

Outside of the National Park Service, you won’t find anything quite like Utah’s Arches, or California’s Sequoias. Nevertheless, while scenic allure catches the eye, one must recognize National Parks’ veiled beauty — a space free of carbon emissions and human contamination.