As an estimated 300,000,000 people visit National Parks every year, I have to ask the question: “How are they fulfilling their Mission Statement?” The National Park Service is expanded all over the country, and has a rich history of conservation.
“The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.” (source: nps.gov)
This mission is the goal of all National Parks, and this article will explore how the Arches National Park fulfills this statement.
To begin, lets break down the mission statement. Basically, they are committing to the conservation of the land, as it is naturally, without impairing it, in order to keep the land in condition for future generations. This is for education, enjoyment, and inspiration.
Next, lets explore how this statement is being met by Arches.
Arches is a strong advocate for the conservation of their landscapes, as they have a number of delicate geographic formations in their area. One of the biggest ways they work towards conservation is community outreach. They encourage volunteering, and advocate for clean outdoor manners. They are also partnered with the “Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks: The Bates Wilson Legacy Fund” This organization has a volunteer based program for removing graffiti, weeds and monitoring the park. You can check out there website here.
Arches is committed to keeping the park open and unrestricted, in order to allow everybody to see the beauty of the park. Of course, safety is a concern, so they ensure that people are informed of the dangers of the park, whether that be through guided hiking trips, or through signs and brochures on how to be safe in the unique environment. To keep nature unimpaired, the trails are open all year round, even when there is snow on the ground. This also comes with safety concerns, and the same approach is taken.
As with most National Parks, Arches is greatly devoted to the education of future generations. They encourage trips to the park, and the park has programs in place in order to encourage learning for all ages. They offer materials for educators that can’t make it to the park, and focus on teaching the ideals of conservation, like the National Park Service was founded on. They are also partnered with Canyonlands Natural History Association. They offer many books and resources for the public to understand the culture, geography, and significance of the park. You can check out their website here.
Naturally, Arches has many things to do, and encourages activity in the park. Visitors can take an auto tour on an 18 mile road through the park, or camp in the Devils Garden Campground. The park offers many hiking trails, and even horseback trails. If you enjoy mountain biking, there are trails in the park, as well as the surrounding area. For more daring visitors, they offer canyoneering (with appropriate permits) and rock climbing. Obviously, the park is loaded with photography opportunities, and has ranger lead programs, such as guided hikes, spring through fall. For night owls, they have gorgeous sky’s for stargazing, and even some guided observations for the stars.
This is the one part of the mission statement that Arches (as well as many parks) fails to accomplish. This is not due to lack of trying though. The entire statement is building into the opportunities for inspiration. Conservation, education, enjoyment… they provide all they can. It’s up to the consumer to become inspired. I will say this. The day somebody leaves Arches being uninspired is the day that it ends. The NPS prides themselves in the fulfillment of this goal, and in my book, Arches excels at it.
Revisiting the Mission
Arches, and all National Parks, swears to do their best to fulfill their mission. They vow to protect and conserve the land for the use of future generations, for education, enjoyment, and inspiration. Arches provides, and outsources the programs to fulfill every portion of this mission. If you want a park to go to where you can be yourself, and enjoy every activity you partake in, then Arches is the park for you.
For more information on Arches National Park, check out the National Park Service official website.