Keep National Parks Serene and Beautiful

Target: Charles Sams, Director of the National Park Service

Goal: Roll out selfie stations and quiet zones at all national parks to reduce littering, noise pollution, and unsafe conditions.

National parks have seen record numbers of visitors in the past couple of years, but with this increased tourism comes increased risks to the lands themselves. Littering represents one major problem, as careless tourists leave heaps of trash in their wake. Plastics are especially detrimental because of the hazard they pose to wildlife and due to their lack of biodegradability. Noise pollution also disturbs the tranquility of these habitats, especially for the wildlife that call them home.

A couple of low-cost but effective efforts at mitigations have begun arising at some of the country’s parks. For one, park overseers attempt to curtail noise with quiet zones in which talking and electronic activity are largely restricted. Many parks have even introduced “quiet days,” where the courtesy requests are extended throughout the park. In addition, to reduce clusters of people gathering around important habitats, parks have unveiled simple wooded enclosures called selfie stations. Since photo-taking has become such a big part of the park experience, the stations give tourists a convenient place to snap those selfies that is both safe to them and to the surrounding lands and wildlife.

Simple solutions can often work best. Sign the petition below to urge the National Park Service to invest in these measures on a broad scale.


Dear Director Sams,

In the worst circumstances, national parks can become a hazard to visitors, to wildlife, and to the lands themselves. Littering, noise pollution, and dangerous bids for the perfect selfie can quickly transform the park experience from positive to negative. Quiet zones and selfie stations represent two low-cost and effective mitigators to these issues.

With safe spots to take pictures, overcrowding and its damaging effects are reduced. And with areas where quiet reigns supreme, visitors can actually enjoy the sweet sounds of nature without disturbing wildlife inhabitants. Please advocate for such beneficial measures at all of the country’s national parks. Invest in the future of America’s beautiful lands.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Victoria Lago

One Comment

  1. National Parks wondrous places to visit. Yet we are the visitors and we go into the home of wildlife. Humans don’t think and high tech devices only make problems of human intrusion even worse. It would be nice if people actually saw themselves as visitors thus hopefully imagining how they would act if visiting the home of a friend or neighbor. I am certain they would not throw their trash and litter any and every where or be obnoxiously loud as they would not be invited back. For some of us just to hear the sounds of nature and see the vistas nature as made is a privilege. The suggestions made to improve the experience for all seems to be going in the right direction so there is enjoyment for all and harm to none.

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