Discover the breathtaking beauty and rich history of America's national parks in Ken Burns's critically acclaimed documentary series, 'National Parks: America's Best Idea' - a must-watch for nature lovers and history buffs alike! Cold winters always reminds us that it's a great time to curl up and watch this award winning series!
Ken Burns's "National Parks: America's Best Idea" is a six-part documentary film series that explores the history and significance of the national parks system in the United States. The timeless historical series, which was first aired on PBS in 2009, is based on the book "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" by Dayton Duncan.
The series begins with the early days of the national park’s movement in the mid-19th century, when a small group of individuals, including naturalist John Muir and photographer Ansel Adams, began advocating for the preservation of America's wild and beautiful places. The documentary then traces the development of the national parks system through the Civil War, the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, and the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916.
Throughout the series, Burns uses a combination of archival footage, photographs, and interviews with park rangers, historians, and experts to tell the story of the national parks. The film also highlights the diverse and often-overlapping perspectives of different groups of people who have been affected by the national parks, including indigenous peoples, settlers, scientists, and tourists.
One of the key themes of the series is the idea that the national parks are a unique and important part of the American identity. The series argues that the national parks are not just a collection of beautiful places, but also a reflection of the values and aspirations of the American people. The parks, the documentary claims, have come to embody the ideals of democracy, equality, and freedom, and have served as a source of inspiration and solace for generations of Americans.
The films also discuss the challenges that the national parks have faced over the years. One major issue has been the tension between the desire to preserve the parks and the desire to use the parks for economic development. This has led to conflicts between park managers and various interest groups, including logging, mining, and oil and gas companies. Another issue has been the challenge of balancing the needs of the parks with the needs of local communities, including issues around water rights, land use, and access to park resources.
The films also cover the history of how the national parks were expanded to include not just scenic landscapes, but also sites that preserve the country's culture, history, and military history. The documentary also discuss how the national park system has expanded to protect other sites and how people of color were not always able to access or take part in the use of these places.
Ken Burns's "National Parks: America's Best Idea" is a thought-provoking and enlightening documentary that provides a comprehensive look at the history and significance of the national parks system in the United States. The series makes a compelling argument for the importance of preserving these special places for future generations and serves as a reminder of the values and ideals that have made America what it is today. The national parks system continues to be an important and beloved part of the American landscape, and this series is an excellent introduction to the rich history and diverse stories of these unique and iconic places.
If you love our National Parks, you are sure to enjoy this entertaining and interesting series. It’s available on DVD as well as various streaming services and occasionally shown on local PBS stations.