The National Park Service yesterday launched a new state-by-state suite of web pages to communicate the breadth of the Service’s work. Although many people think of only national parks when they think of the NPS, the agency’s work touches almost every county in the country – regardless of its proximity to a national park. Truth is, communities invite the NPS to work with them and help them by providing expertise and grants, reviewing tax credit projects, and making surplus federal land available for parks and recreation facilities – and more.
The goal of the pages is to tell the full story – what the NPS does in 394 parks and a multitude of national programs that benefit communities.
In addition to parks, this first phase of the project features nine programs and includes “by the numbers” statistics for 10 additional programs. The phase one programs are the:
* Land and Water Conservation Fund
* American Battlefield Protection Program
* Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance
* Save America’s Treasures
* Preserve America
* Certified Local Governments
* Federal Lands to Parks
* National Register of Historic Places
* Historic Rehabilitation Tax Incentives.
* More programs will be added in future phases.
The pages include a beta version of an interactive map that shows national parks and additional layers that show national program activities. Because it’s a beta version, the NPS will continue to refine and improve the map, including making parks more visible. The list view is another way to explore the map layers.
From the new pages, we learn, for example, that Tennessee has 12 National Park units that saw 7,898,557 visitors in 2010, and generated $501,305,000 in economic benefits through tourism (in 2009). We also learn that 176,478 hours were donated by volunteers in 2010.
Comparatively, North Carolina has 10 National Park units that received 17,093,464 visitors in 2010, and generated $707,241,000 in economic benefits through tourism in 2009. Volunteers donated 103,790 hours to national parks in the Tar Heel state in 2010.
The site provides a lot more data, and links to individual park units, for those interested.