PBS Series Shows Value of National Parks, Professor Says
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 [12:50 PM]
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A Lindsey Wilson College
professor will be among the millions of Americans who plan to watch
the PBS series The National Parks: America's Best
The six-episode series directed by Ken Burns and written and
co-produced by Dayton Duncan explores the history, evolution and
cultural significance of the U.S. National Park Service.
The series, which begins Sunday night, will be aired locally on
Television and also online.
Assistant Professor of Recreation, Tourism, and
Sports Management Tricia M. Day said she hopes the PBS series
will remind viewers of the value of U.S. parks.
"A series like this creates an appreciation for how progressive
it was in the early 1900s for the U.S. government to set aside land
for public parks," Day said.
Day recently took some of her students on a field trip to nearby
Smoky Mountains National Park, where she was reminded of the
"tremendous value of our parks" as well as the tension between
public good and private property.
Dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, the
creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was unique from
national parks established in the West.
"Most of the parks out West were created by the government
pretty easily because there were not many people living in those
spaces in the early 20th century," Day said. "But creating the
Smokies was much more challenging because the government had to buy
lands from hundreds of citizens, some of whom didn't want to part
with their land. But when you look at it today, you can see what a
great idea it was to create a national park in the Smoky Mountains
because it's an incredible resource for our region."
Day hopes people who view the PBS series will come away with a
deeper appreciation of the National Park Service and also
understand why it's important to have large public spaces for
people to enjoy.
"Parks allow you to see places you'd never have a chance to
see," she said. "They are such a national treasure."
The first episode of The National Parks:
America's Best Idea will air at 7 p.m. CT Sunday,
Sept. 27 on Kentucky Educational Television. Full episodes will
also be posted online Sept. 28-Oct. 9 at www.pbs.org/nationalparks
Contact: Duane Bonifer