Growing up in Colorado meant that I spent most of my summers visiting national parks.
My family and I would cram our hiking gear into my dad’s beat-up Jeep. For short trips, we’d spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park or Mesa Verde. If we had a week off, we’d drive to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or the Badlands.
National parks aren’t just a fond, childhood memory for me. Many families across the country have similar experiences. In fact, in the past five years, the parks have experienced some of the highest numbers of visitors ever.
Unfortunately, the parks’ infrastructure isn’t getting the support it needs — the National Park System has nearly $12 billion worth of deferred maintenance ( work that’s been postponed due to budget constraints). Despite this looming price tag, the Washington Post reported that in entrance and recreation fees — money meant to improve parks — to help fund President Trump’s Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall. Read more…