Celebrate National Park Week with us from April 17 to 25! Share your love of the national parks and follow along with themed days throughout the week.
April 20 is Day 4: Transformation Tuesday during National Park Week. Today we’re looking at transformations – in the national parks, in your community, and in yourself.
Transformation Tuesday at the National Parks is April 20
The national parks have changed a lot over the past 100+ years. But it’s not just nature that’s changing – these parks can spark transformative personal journeys in us as well. April 20th is Transformation Tuesday, and we encourage everyone to take some time to consider how both national parks and your local outdoor spaces can transform your physical and mental health all year long.
Getting outdoors and being in nature is a great way to improve your health and wellbeing. From exploring new places to learning new sports or activities, there are many ways you can use outdoor spaces to start a new health journey. Adding outdoor play to your routine is a great way to support long term health, and visiting a national park is the perfect way to explore, exercise, and play.
Ready to try a new activity but not sure what to do when visiting a national park? Try one of the 5 gateway activities to stay healthy and boost your mood: hiking, camping, running, bicycling, or fishing. These are all activities that can easily be picked up and can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. And luckily for you, all of these activities match perfectly with RVing!
Need some inspiration for gateway activities you can try on the road? We’ve got some great articles to get you started on your health transformation:
If you’ve had any transformative national park experiences, you’re invited to share them with the NPS on social media using the hashtags #TransformationTuesday, #NPSOnTheMove, and #NationalParkWeek.
The History of the National Parks
Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the first national park in the world! In 1872 congress established Yellowstone National Park as “a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people”. Today there are more than 1,200 national parks or preservation equivalents in over 100 countries across the globe. That’s pretty cool!
Shortly after in 1906, the Antiquities Act was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt which gave U.S. presidents the authority to create national monuments on public land. These national monuments protected areas of historical, cultural, and archeological importance. He named Devils Tower in Wyoming the first national monument, and today there are 129 national monuments in America.
The U.S. continued to add 35 more national parks and monuments as protected areas throughout the end of the 1800s and into the early 1900s. In 1916 the National Park Service was created to care for and protect these lands. Known as the Organic Act, it said “the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Today there are over 400 parks, sites, and monuments that are protected by the National Park System across the U.S. states and territories. If you’ve been itching to visit some of these parks and monuments to have your own transformational moment, we have some great suggestions:
The Recreate Responsibly Movement
National parks give visitors opportunities to transform their lives with outdoor recreational activities. And in order to preserve these spaces for future generations, it’s important to recreate responsibly. The Recreate Responsibly Movement helps protect visitors and guests, park workers and volunteers, and wildlife and nature itself.
Easy ways you can recreate responsibly in 2021 include following COVID-19 guidelines while in the parks to reduce the risk to guests, volunteers, and employees. This means wearing masks when required in buildings and keeping at least 6 ft distance from others.
You should also follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles: plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate and respectful of other visitors.
If you’re looking for more information on ecotourism and how to recreate responsibly, check out our articles on RV eco travels and easy green living in your RV. And while you’re exploring, share how you’re enjoying public lands in a safe and responsible way with #RecreateResponsibly. It’s a fun way to celebrate the national parks while you enjoy the transformative powers of nature.
RVing is a great way to start a transformative trip in the outdoors. Want to know more about a specific park? We have guides on all the U.S. national parks to inspire you. And if you need an RV to get to your favorite park, we’ve got you covered with rentals all across America.