First family’s visit shows why you’ll love Yosemite National Park!
By Audrey Peterman
President Obama and our First Family spent Fathers’ Day weekend in Yosemite National Park in California, one of the grandest places on Earth and a “Crown Jewel” among our national parks. After his last week dealing with so much tragedy and the insults of the leading contender for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, I bet our President and his family heaved a sigh of relief when they landed in the place where you literally feel you are looking into the face of God.
I’ve been there many times and had that same feeling every time. What’s more, it never leaves you.
“No picture can do this justice. You can’t get it from a video. You have to be here and see it and feel it and experience it,” our President said.
Hundreds of people from the Bay Area and elsewhere flocked to the park to see President Obama, and got the bonus of having their minds blown by such inconceivable beauty. Many of the young people have lived in urban communities their entire lives and never imagined that there are places where nature remains in its majestic, undisturbed perfection. They may have felt they were on another planet.
Our long time mentee Juan Martinez who heads up the Natural Leaders of the Children and Nature Network, is a National Geographic Young Explorer and a member of the Board of the Sierra Club posted rapturously on Facebook: “Only in America could an immigrant kid from Mexico, raised in South Central L.A., with a strong familia who fought off homelessness, and once was a kid so lost that tomorrow was never guaranteed. Only in this, my home, the US of A could I roll into Yosemite National Park to meet President Obama with a crew of young leaders from Compton, California; Arctic Village, Alaska…There is a generation awaiting to discover the greatest of our American inheritance, to drive our outdoor recreation economy forward through our public lands and ensure that the Next100 years is an inclusive vision for all of us.” There is a generation awaiting to discover the greatest of our American inheritance, to drive our outdoor recreation economy forward through our public lands! Ensure the is an inclusive vision for all of us. And I’m here to help make that happen. My family are those who stand in action with me, could not have done it without you fam and know that even if your not here I carry You with meThe President said he was excited to be in the park so he could learn more about the Buffalo Soldiers and the time they spent patrolling the park at the turn of the 20th Century. These black American forbears protected the resources so that today our President and his family could walk among giant sequoia trees that, at more than 2000 years old, were seedlings at the time when Christ walked on Earth.
Without the efforts of the Buffalo Soldiers, those giants may have fallen under the axe of lumbermen or been irreparably damaged by grazing livestock. I bet our President was inspired that as hard as his job is, our ancestors similarly faced monumental challenges and persevered and led.
The President emphasized the effect it had on him when as an 11-year-old boy, his grandparents took him to Yellowstone and he saw geysers and wildlife and great expanses of untouched beauty. (Watch the video at Whitehouse.gov) He announced his determination to get “Every Kid in a Park” through his initiative that gives passes to every fourth grader to take their family to the parks. He talked about the 265 million acres of land and water he has saved over his presidency and his efforts to address climate change. He also mentioned his vision for the next 100 years which our coalition has been encouraging him to enact, and said the 325 million visitors to our national parks last year contributed a lot of money to local economies, returning $6 for every $1 the federal agency spends.
This week marks the start of the summer travel season. I urge you to discover for yourself why the First Family that could vacation anywhere on Earth chose to spend their vacation in our national parks. Visit www.nps.gov to find the parks near you.blessed to invest my time, energy, and resources into supporting their growth through.