In 2016, we'll celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service—a defining moment that offers an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our accomplishments as we prepare for a new century of stewardship and engagement.
In our second century, the National Park Service must recommit to exemplary stewardship and public enjoyment of these places. We must promote the contributions that national parks and our community assistance programs make to create jobs, strengthen local economies, and support ecosystem services. We must strategically integrate our mission across parks and programs and use their collective power to leverage resources and expand our contributions to society.
A Call to Action rallies employees and partners to advance a shared vision toward 2016. It describes specific goals and measurable actions that chart a new direction for the National Park Service as it enters its second century. On this page we will highlight the Call To Action goals and actions that apply to Transportation in the National Parks.
A Call To Action #4: In My Back Yard
"Improve urban residents' awareness of and access to outdoor and cultural experiences close to home by promoting national parks in urban areas and ensuring safe and enjoyable physical connection(s) from parks to a variety of sustainable transportation options aligned with urban populations' needs."
The concept that people living in urban areas can get from their homes and schools to a nearby national park is an important one for the NPS to support. Our urban national parks have the ability to promote health and well-being for both children and adults. Many of our urban parks are also significant cultural and historic landmarks. For many urban residents these close-to-home park environments can lead to a life-long bond with nature and a deeper understanding of our cultural heritage.
For the purpose of this action, the definition of "urban" follows the U.S. Census Bureau as a population area of 50,000, with at least 1000 residents per square mile. All national parks located in these areas should adopt this action. Parks located in urban areas not strictly meeting the above definition are encouraged to adopt this action.
A well-promoted physical connection may include:
- Existing or new sidewalks, bike or multi-use paths, and other accessible routes with signs directing people to and from the park and the nearest bus stop, subway station, or trail. Parks should collaborate with municipal agencies and other stakeholders to implement such a wayfinding plan, including any improvements within the park.
- Maps and other information that highlight the park and how public transportation or trails can be used to access the park. Parks are encouraged to explore new and innovative ways of promoting the park at any point along a connection.