Happy birthday to the National Park Service!

For 100 years, our national parks have provided a reprieve from city life, important education about conservation and some pretty memorable adventures.

“The sound of the wolves howling, probably a dozen or so, in an environment where sound carries for more than a mile – and it went on for 15 or 20 minutes – was one of the most haunting experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, told Pete Dominick.

In celebration of the centennial, Dominick brought together some of the best and brightest in the field for a National Parks Summit to share their most memorable park moments, like Shafroth’s encounter with wolves at Voyageurs National Park in Northern Minnesota, while also highlighting the importance of preserving our parks.

“The idea has spread now, 100 nations have designated national parks – I think there’s over 6,000 national parks,” Frank Hays, the associate regional director at the National Park Service, said.

To help to maintain the integrity of the parks, Denise Coogan, environmental partnership manager at Subaru of America, emphasized the need to “shift the culture and have people think differently about what they’re doing.”

And as Dominick pointed out, it starts with educating people while they are young.

“We have kids staying inside andNational Summit Panel not appreciating nature, the woods behind their house, much less the national parks,” Dominick said, expressing worry about the impact of technology on kids’ desire to explore the world around them.

“I grew up outside of New York City. I never went to a park in my whole life until after I graduated from law school,”  Mark Wenzler, senior vice president for Conservation Programs at National Parks Conservation Association recalled.

“I went to the Grand Canyon and I mean thought I was on Mars, I’d never seen anything like that… I almost fell off the cliff a few times, you know clawing my way up an icy trail in the dark. But I loved it, it changed my life. It made me a lover of National Parks, it was the most amazing, spectacular place I’d ever been in my life. I wanted to go to all of them after that.”

Pete Dominick SXM 5

“Seeing other people enjoy it has been the best thing for me,” Hays added.

“I remember working on the rim of the Grand Canyon one day and I saw this young family, and this young girl, probably eight or nine, got to the edge and just said ‘it’s huge!'”

“I’m not a religious guy,” Dominck explained. “But nature, and these amazing, amazing places… America’s national parks are as close to God as I feel like I get.”

The National Parks Summit with Pete Dominick debuts Thursday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Insight (Ch.121). The special replays Saturday at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday at 8 a.m. ET

To learn more about Subaru’s Zero Landfill, go to subaru.com/environment.

For a free 30-day trial, check out siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog.  

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