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More than a march.

Born out of the 1990 Earth Day celebration is an event that is the cornerstone of a number of environmental programs across America. NPCA's March for Parks raises awareness and funds for America's national, state, regional, and local parks by organizing walks and other events around the country. The march has taken a special place as Americans look for ways to take back their heritage, their history, and their parks, and to initiate grassroots programs to save their piece of the Earth.

The well-known quote, "think globally, act locally," suggests that if each community were to ensure that its particular environment were healthy, that its air and water were clean, that its plant and animal species were thriving under its stewardship, global environmental problems would be minimized. For example, if citizens ensured that factories in their towns did not pollute, nations might not need clean air laws.

On the specific scale of national parks, the same is true. Our parks have been in the hands of those who favor short-term returns over long-term public needs. As a result, many programs--such as planting trees, preserving wildlife habitat, carrying out research, and furthering environmental education--have been given low priority because they produce no immediate commercial or political gain. Therefore, private citizens must step in to ensure that these needed programs become a reality.

Through March for Parks, citizens can do just that: take back what is theirs, take back their parks, take back their responsibility. For example, users of Chugach State Park in Alaska marched last year to inaugurate a park watch program aimed at taking back their ark from criminals engaged in illegal tree-cutting, theft, and vandalism in Chugach. And in Florida, a Miami elementary school teacher marched with her students to raise funds for environmental education materials about Everglades National Park.

March for Parks is more than a march because it reflects the broad mandate of thinking globally and acting locally. Last year, more than 15,000 people across the country raised nearly $250,000 for park projects. This year we will help more people work to fulfill their local needs--including riverside cleanups, tree plantings, recycling programs, and environmental education projects (see story on page 40).

March for Parks 1993 -April 16, 17, and 18-takes on a special significance for NPCA because it is also the kick-off of NPCA's 75th anniversary. Join with individuals nationwide as we not only work to protect parks but also applaud 75 years of citizen action that has created the wonderful National Park System we have today.

Each one of us must act locally if we are going to save our parks, save our Earth.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:National Parks and Conservation Association's March for Parks
Author:Pritchard, Paul C.
Publication:National Parks
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Next Article:102nd Congress mixes action and delay.

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