National Parks - Not What I Expected This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


      Thissummer my parents, younger brother and I went on a three-week trip to the westernUnited States, mainly to visit the national parks. Arriving in Las Vegas, wevisited Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Devil's Tower, andSequoia National Parks. Now, don't get me wrong, these parks were amazing, andall deserve park status, but they had some features I didn'texpect.

People have corrupted most of the national parks. Not only werethere lots of tourists, security, pedestrians, and locals who interfered with theenvironment, but people had actually changed them. For example, the Hoover Damdams the Colorado River and alters its flow, slowing the natural evolution of theGrand Canyon.

I think the most shocking aspect of visiting the nationalparks was the litter. I saw more litter there than where I live. I had picturedthe national parks as clean, natural and pure. When I saw litter in the grass,all over the rocks and plants, I was appalled. Number one, I couldn't believethat people would litter this natural beauty, and number two, I can't believethat there weren't crews working to clean up the mess.

Not only are peoplepolluting the air, ground and water with litter and car exhaust, they are alsoharming the wildlife in two big ways. The first is by feeding and petting them.When you do this, you take away their wildness. The second is the destruction oftheir environment. People are moving in, building, trampling and litteringanimals' habitats. It's not just the animals; but trees and plants are affectedby tourism.

Overall I enjoyed my vacation to the national parks. I willremember what I saw for the rest of my life, which is good. I should remembersome things, but others - litter, pollution and environmental destruction - Iprefer not to.

Our national parks are great and historical sites, weshouldn't pollute or litter them. Not only shouldn't we do these things, but weshould help clean them up and leave our national parks in better condition thanwe found them. I want my descendants to be able to visit the national parksfirsthand, not through a textbook or a museum exhibit.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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