Climate Change In Our Parks

By Matt Ferris on 08/20/2010

Program Director, National Park Foundation

I just read an article by Philippe Cousteau, CEO of EarthEcho International, about his recent trip to Yellowstone National Park. Click here to see HuffPo commentary.

Cousteau writes about what he’s observed and learned while in Yellowstone. One sentence, in particular, jumped out at me, “Other challenges are threatening the parks as well. A familiar refrain I heard over and over from guides and rangers alike was the concern over the effects of an increasingly volatile climate.”

I was struck by this sentence because I’m working on NPF’s upcoming Electronic Field Trip (EFT) to North Cascades National Park, which will focus on climate change. NPF picked North Cascades for the EFT because it is home to over 300 glaciers. And many of these glaciers have shrunk dramatically during the last century thanks, in part, to global warming.

The upcoming EFT, which will air on October 13th, will use North Cascades as a medium for explaining climate change and its impacts. I think some of the kids will be surprised to learn that the glaciers are not only wonders of the natural world, but they provide an important source of water for the plants, animal and people that live in the region. As the glaciers shrink, a water supply is diminished.

I hope our EFT is successful in teaching thousands of children about climate change, and motivating them to take action to help mitigate the human-caused impacts on the climate.

To learn more about our upcoming EFT click here!