As the weather gets nicer and people start looking for activities to do outdoors, many nature lovers will find their way to one of America's roughly 400 national parks.
Just recently, National Geographic released the latest book in its "The 10 Best of Everything" series, which breaks down America's top national parks. Its list is as follows:
10. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
9. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
8. Yosemite National Park, California
7. New Orleans Jazz Historical Park, Louisiana
6. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia
5. Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York
4. Santa Fe National Historic Trail in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma
3. Alagnak Wild River, Alaska
2. Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
1. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California.
The release of the book comes alongside the unveiling of a special tablet edition of USA Today that was put together in collaboration with National Geographic Channel. This offering even features a special guest essay by illustrious filmmaker Ken Burns, who produced "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" for PBS a few years ago.
"[National parks] perform a kind of open-heart surgery on us, permitting us more room in our hearts for the love of these places, for the love of our country, for the love of our family," Burns writes. "We are all co-owners of some of the most moving places on Earth, and while much of that emotion is born in the spectacular scenery we are seeing there, it also finds its source in us and our love and connection to each other."
It's important for anyone who is going green to experience the beauty of national parks if they want to truly appreciate what they are trying to protect. By understanding what ozone and carbon emissions can destroy, it may be easier for environment lovers to make the small sacrifices – taking quicker showers and recycling more frequently – that can make a real difference.