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Explore The Wonders Of Our National Parks: A Library Program and Booklist

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Explore The Wonders Of Our National Parks: A Library Program and Booklist

From snow-capped mountains to colorful coral reefs, rolling grasslands to monochromatic deserts, the United States boasts incredibly diverse landscapes and natural splendor, especially as found in its iconic national parks.

These 63 national parks are congressionally designated protected areas operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior.  National parks are designated for their natural beauty, unique geological features, diverse ecosystems, and recreational opportunities.  

National parks draw millions of visitors a year to unique natural wonders and unforgettable terrains. These open spaces offer everything from wonderful hiking trails, photography and wildlife viewing opportunities, to stargazing or even boating and climbing. They are great for all ages, educational and most of all, the serenity of parks makes for a very relaxing and rewarding experience.

Join us on March 20th at 7PM for a virtual travel talk “Explore Our National Parks.” World traveler, Chris McCormack, will detail the beauty of many parks through breathtaking photos and stories that will make you feel as if you have explored the parks yourself. Chris will share practical information and tips on how to travel the parks such as obtaining park passes, using apps for best prices, finding spots to camp, and deciding what to bring. 

After this informative presentation on the ins and outs of exploring these natural wonders, you & your family will be ready to explore the mountains of Wyoming, volcanoes of Hawaii, and the coastlines of Maine!

Click here to register for this virtual presentaion. The zoom link will be sent the day before the program.

You can also borrow a guidebook from the list below if a visit to a national park is on your itinerary this spring and summer, or enjoy a nonfiction title on the history of these parks from the second listing. You will also find knitting and cooking inspiration from these books on national parks!

Guidebooks 

Accessible Vacations : An Insider’s Guide To 10 National Parks by Simon J. Hayhoe

Banff, Jasper & Glacier National Parks

The Complete Guide To The National Parks : All 63 Treasures From Coast To Coast by Erika Hueneke

Complete National Parks Of The United States : 440 Parks, Monuments, Battlefields, Scenic Trails, Historic Sites, Recreation Areas, Seashores, And More by Mel White

The Rough Guide To The USA’s National Parks

Fodor’s The Complete Guide To The National Parks Of The USA

Native American Archaeology in the Parks : A Guide to Heritage Sites in Our National Parks and Monuments by Kenneth L. Feder

100 Great American Parks by Stephanie Pearson

100 Things to See in the National Parks : Your Guide to the Most Popular Features of the US National Parks by Stefanie Payne

Subpar Parks : America’s Most Extraordinary National Parks And Their Least Impressed Visitors by Amber Share

U S & Canadian Rocky Mountains Road Trip : Drive The Continental Divide And Explore 9 National Parks by Becky Lomax

The World Almanac Road Trippers’ Guide To National Parks : 5,001 Things To Do, Learn, And See For  Yourself by John Rosenthal

Wyoming : With Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks by Carter Walker

Your Guide To The National Parks by Michael Joseph Oswald

Nonfiction Reads
(Note: descriptions are taken from the publishers)

historic yellowstone

Historic Yellowstone National Park : The Stories Behind The World’s First National Park by Bruce T. Gourley

This book captures the most interesting moments in the park’s history.  There’s the presence of Native Americans in the early years of the area’s history, the early explorers and expeditions, its debut as the very first national park, the explosive growth of tourism, and the people who made history in this astonishing and mysterious Rocky Mountain landscape.

american wolf

American Wolf (unabridged book on CD) : A True Story Of Survival And Obsession In The West by Nate Blakeslee

The story of the rise of a Yellowstone wolf, and what her life and death and death tell us about the struggle for the American West.

feral

Feral : Losing Myself And Finding My Way In America’s National Parks by Emily Pennington

After a decade as an assistant to high-powered LA executives, Emily left behind her structured life and surrendered to the pull of the great outdoors. With a tight budget, meticulous routing, and a temperamental minivan she named Gizmo, Emily embarked on a yearlong road trip to sixty-two national parks, hell-bent on a single goal: getting through the adventure in one piece. She was instantly thrust into more chaos than she’d bargained for and found herself on an unpredictable journey rocked by a gutting romantic breakup, a burgeoning pandemic, wildfires, and other seismic challenges that threatened her safety, her sanity, and the trip itself.

from swamp to wetland

From Swamp To Wetland : The Creation Of Everglades National Park by Chris Wilhelm

This book chronicles the creation of Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. This effort, which spanned 1928 to 1958, was of central importance to the later emergence of modern environmentalism.

knitting the national parks

Knitting the National Parks : 63 Easy-to-Follow Designs for Beautiful Beanies Inspired by the US National Parks by Nancy Bates

Knit unique beanies inspired by the jaw-dropping and unique landscapes from each of the 63 US National Parks.

leave it as it is

Leave It As It Is : A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness by David Gessner

An urgent call to protect America’s public lands, told through New York Times bestselling author David Gessner’s American road trip with our greatest conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt, as his guide.

leave only footprints

Leave Only Footprints : My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton (also available as an ebook)

The Emmy-winning CBS Sunday Morning correspondent chronicles his year traveling to every one of our national parks, discovering the most beautiful places and most interesting people that America has to offer.

national parks cookbook

The National Parks Cookbook : The Best Recipes From (And Inspired By) America’s National Parks by Linda Ly

Part cookbook and part escapist lifestyle book filled with stunning travel photography and national park history, The National Parks Cookbook features recipes from popular national park destinations in the west, east, north, and south. You’ll find signature dishes from the top 10 national parks in the country (including classics like the Grand Canyon Hiker’s Stew from Phantom Ranch and the Yosemite Firefall Cocktail from The Ahwahnee Bar), original recipes inspired by park flora and fauna (such as Lingonberry Brie en Croute from Denali), and local culinary specialties (like Fried Fish and Fungi with Creole Sauce from the Virgin Islands).

power of scenery

The Power Of Scenery : Frederick Law Olmsted And The Origin Of National Parks by Dennis Drabelle

 Tells the story of how America’s national parks came to be, with Frederick Law Olmsted’s insights and energy serving to link three jewels: Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Niagara Falls State Park.

saving yellowstone

Saving Yellowstone : Exploration And Preservation In Reconstruction America by Megan Kate Nelson

The propulsive and vividly told story of how Yellowstone became the world’s first national park amid the nationwide turmoil and racial violence of the Reconstruction era. A narrative of adventure and exploration, Saving Yellowstone is also a story of Indigenous resistance, the expansive reach of railroad, photographic, and publishing technologies, and the struggles of Black southerners to bring racial terrorists to justice.

where the deer and antelope play
where the deer and antelope play

Where The Deer And The Antelope Play : The Pastoral Observations Of One Ignorant American Who Loves To Walk Outside by Nick Offerman

With wit, heartwarming stories and a keen insight into new and exciting ways to see both the past and the future of the country, the actor, writer and woodworker takes a literary journey to America’s frontier to celebrate the people and landscape that have made it great.

yellowstone 150 years

Yellowstone : 150 Years As America’s Greatest National Park by Lew Freedman

The complete story of our first national park, from the land’s formation millions of years ago, to its designation as our first national park in 1872, to its current state. It’s a story of inspiration, endurance, and foresight.

In addition, Hoopla offers several ebooks, audiobooks and movies related to national parks for viewing on your screens.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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