America's Best Idea

America's Best Idea
Making America’s Best Idea Even Better National Park Service Gears Up for Ken Burns Effect

WASHINGTON – Millions of Americans are tuning in this week to watch Ken Burns’s latest PBS film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Viewers will be glued to their TVs as the nation’s preeminent storyteller trains his lens on the national parks. Then what?

Here are a couple of ideas from the National Park Service, the people who have been entrusted with the care of these special places by our fellow citizens for nearly 100 years:

Visit: The best place to enjoy a national park is in one. There are 391 national parks to choose from. Find one close by or plan a trip to one across the continent. Start at

Volunteer: We welcome more than 170,000 volunteers every year who help parks with everything from clearing trails, to staffing information desks, to counting species in a BioBlitz. Find a place to volunteer at

Donate: The generosity of our citizens through their tax dollars and their donations helps to sustain America's national parks. The National Park Foundation and more than 100 Friends Groups raise friends and funds for parks. Find out more at

Help Your Community: The National Park Service also works outside of parks, helping those committed to revitalizing their own communities create places to get outside and be active and preserve local history. See how we can help your community at

Help Us Make America’s Best Idea Even Better: We see being America’s best idea as a challenge to live up to, not a title to be content with. Take a look at what we are doing today to make the idea even better at our new website

“The Burns film is reinvigorating America’s love of their national parks,” said Jon Jarvis, who was confirmed last week as the 18th Director of the National Park Service. “We invite all Americans to embrace their ownership of national parks, to come out for a visit, and to renew or create personal connections, and make memories that will last a lifetime. National parks are for everyone. National parks belong to every citizen. Please join us in caring for these special places.”

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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