When I found out that I was pregnant with my oldest son my husband and I packed our packs and headed to Joshua Tree for the weekend.

I remember calling my parents as my husband drove down the road, “Well, looks like we’re gonna have a baby…” I told them before we lost cell service.

Four weeks after that baby was born we loaded him up and made our way to Sequoia.

Then a few months later there was Death Valley, where he cried his way through Scotty’s Castle.

Our relationship hit an all-time low here.

But then there was this view….

National Parks, State Parks, Public Lands from then on we’ve gone out of our way to seek out family adventures in some of the most beautiful places in the United States.

There was on the one time we saw a grizzly bear in Yellowstone, and of course, cross-country skiing from West Yellowstone into the park. A Thanksgiving Day tradition.

There was the boat ride on Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park.

Alpine tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park.

There’s been hiking, camping, learning, adventuring and touring.

All of these lands have been set aside for us and for that I’m thankful because each time we load up the car with our gear and head to a National Park magical memories are created for my family.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by The National Park Trust. They asked if I’d help them spread the word about the 7th annual National Park Trust Kids to Parks Day. I was happy to do so because National Parks mean so much to me.

I also feel a strong desire to protect our lands so that my children and my children’s children can enjoy the same views in generations to come that I enjoy today.

“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”  -Teddy Roosevelt

I believe that we protect what we love.

This is why I want my children to love our planet.

Next Saturday, May 20, is Kids to Parks Day sponsored by the National Park Trust. 

Children across the country are invited to discover science, history, nature and adventure in a neighborhood park right around the corner or just across town. You can check out NPT’s free resources for ideas or watch the short video from Kids to Parks Day 2016.

Cool right?

Here’s what you can do.

Step 1: Pledge to have a park adventure on Kids to Parks Day and be entered to win one of several prizes

Step 2. Find or register an event in your area

Step 3. Encourage friends and family to join you

Step 4. Share photos and adventures on social media with #kidstoparks and #BuddyBison

Keep checking back to www.kidstoparks.org as more information about park events and prizes are updated until the big day!

This year, National Park Trust partnered with Northside and I’m super excited to be able to giveaway 1 pair of Northside shoes to your family to help you get outdoors and explore our public lands.  You can enter her to win a pair of Northside shoes for you or a family member right here.

Northside Shoes

About National Park Trust

National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. As people spend more time indoors, and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants to build a greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country’s public lands and parks. NPT’s Buddy Bison® School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest were selected in 2015 as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project. Learn more at: www.parktrust.org or call 301-279-7275.

Note: This is a sponsored post and we were compensated for it but that doesn’t change how we feel about National Parks!

20 comments on “Why National Parks Are Important To Me (+ Giveaway)

  1. Just decided today we’re going to take the two year old to our local National Forest Park on Saturday! Can’t wait 🙂

  2. I remember visiting National Parks on family vacations as a child and believe it’s important to expose my own children to the magic of these experiences as they grow up too.

  3. My favorite National Park is a toss up between Grand Canyon or Crater Lake. Both are two of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen!

  4. We are headed to Sequoia National Park in a few weeks! Can’t wait! Can’t wait for my children to experience their first Nat’l Park.

  5. Not a parent yet, but certainly a doting auntie. Acadia National Park holds a special place in my heart, is it’s the place I first learned how to climb, and where I watched my oldest niece dominate Cadillac Mtn as a little two year old.

  6. I’m in LOVE with this article! Without kids learning to love the outdoors, there will be no future for our wild places. Keep up the amazing work, Rebecca!

  7. I’m hoping to visit more parks this summer! My number one on the list this summer is Denali. We visit Chugach State Park weekly!! I hope to instill a love for getting outdoors in my kids.

  8. I am not yet a mother, but I am comitted to get my sister’s and neices out for adventure. I loved your story.

  9. We love every single park we’ve visited. This summer we will return to Wrangell-St Elias for some rafting, exploring, and history-learnin.

  10. i havent gotten out as much as i would like so i would say Cape cod National seashore since i live near it.

  11. I love Point Lobos and the pacific northwest parks the best…… been living in desert of Az too long..need to get back to coast and forests of green

  12. My favorite is impossible to choose…but I’ll say Great Sand Dunes because it’s within a day’s drive and has a little bit of everything. Alpine, sand dunes, marshes, birding, backpacking, swimming, everything.

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