A new study shows that national parks worldwide are worth an estimated $6 trillion—with a “T”— in mental health benefits. A team from Australia’s Griffith University, comprised of ecologists, psychologists, and economists, looked at the psychological benefits of national park visits and compared them to the costs of poor mental health. They sampled 20,000 people in three groups, looking at improved cognition, sleep, stress relief, and reduced anxiety and depression. Overwhelmingly, parks made things better.
The researchers were able to attach an economic value on the mental health benefits of national parks, and open spaces in general, by factoring in how much countries spend on mental health treatment and care, while taking into account poor workplace productivity and antisocial behavior. They also examined the quality-adjusted life years of the three groups under study, an economic tool that experts use to measure the value of medical care by reducing a person’s pain, whether mental or physical.
Updated June 1, 2019 to add link to his latest video.
In May 2014, Iohan Gueorguiev (website – YouTube – Twitter – Instagram) started cycling from the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The plan was to cycle to the tip of South America in a year, maybe a few more months.
In conjunction with national park week, 122 groups sent a letter to Congress Tuesday urging members to oppose any legislation that might weaken protections of national parks and monuments.
The letter — signed by various groups representing the LGBTQ community, women, disabled Americans, African-Americans and others — calls the shrinking of national monuments an attack on the Antiquities Act.
“Any attack on our public lands, monuments, oceans, and waters is an attack on our communities, our history, our contributions to this great nation, and our culture; and it robs the next generation of a chance to learn from these shared treasures,” reads the letter. “It has often been said that our nation’s public lands system is one of our best ideas; we must now come together to protect these special places.”
In anticipation of Earth Day on Sunday, Google Street View added seven new parks to its catalogue of digitally mapped parks on Thursday to bring the total number to 167, or approximately 75 per cent of Parks Canada spaces. The latest additions include Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve, Terra Nova National Park, the Lake Louise area in Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park, West Coast Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and Nahanni National Park Reserve.
Interior Department officials are backing away from a plan to dramatically increase entrance fees at the most popular national parks after receiving more than 100,000 public comments from Americans nearly unanimously opposed to the idea.
In October, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed to increase peak-season entrance fees at 17 parks from $25 to $70 — the largest hike since World War II. Joshua Tree National Park in California, where the peak season starts in January, would have been the first to charge the higher rate, followed by a dozen other parks where visitation peaks in May and June. The cost of riding a motorcycle into the parks would have risen to $50, and walking or biking in would have cost $30.
But as temperatures climb and parks prepare for another season of potentially record-breaking visitation, Interior and National Park Service officials are rethinking the plan based on public comments that inundated the NPS website over an abbreviated 30-day period.
Depending on where you live in the world, viewing the night sky in its natural, unhindered state can be a rarity. Due to light pollution, fewer than 500 stars are viewable in urban settings, compared to the 15,000 stars apparent in some of the darkest skies.
National parks provide some of the darkest and clearest night skies across the country. And that’s why the National Park Foundation supports programs that help connect visitors with night sky viewing opportunities in some of these special places.
A grant from the National Park Foundation funded the startup of Mammoth Cave After Dark, a program aimed at showing visitors the night sky at Mammoth Cave National Park. Visitors who participated in Mammoth Cave After Dark enjoyed a guided hike, guided cave tour, dinner, and stargazing.
Canada’s national parks and historic sites hosted a staggering 24.7 million visitors last year. Not bad for a country with a population of only 36 million people. Which of it’s 39 national parks are the most popular? Here are the top ten:
Every day I dive into the internet cesspool and go through a pile of news sources to extract the most fascinating stories. Curated by hand. No large media organizations. No bots. No unambiguous algorithms deciding what you get to read.
This site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for good judgement, common sense, medical advice, or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.