Q&A With National Park Foundation Supporter Matt Leibowitz
San Antonio Missions: Founded by Spanish missionaries, supported by a Brooklyn musician.
Local indigenous people used limestone and stucco to build San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. As a member of the National Park Foundation community, Matt Leibowitz protects the Missions, and every other national park.
We recently talked with Matt to learn what the national parks mean to him:
What is your Find Your Park story?
I went to Elkmont Campground in Great Smoky Mountain National Park to see the synchronized fireflies. It was an amazing site to see so many flashing together. It was like seeing lightening for the first time.
Which park is your favorite and why?
Arches. There’s something about the desert that makes a person pause, breathe, and appreciate that vastness of space and the other living things that inhabit this place. Arches does this for me.
What does the phrase “find your park” mean to you?
This ties into much of what I was saying above, but to me it means finding part of yourself. Whether it’s the desert, the ocean, the mountains, or the plains, nature is in all of us. Sometimes you can find little pieces of yourself within it.
Do you think it’s important for others to get involved with the National Park Foundation? If so, why?
Yes. We need to appreciate the world we live in while understanding that it is both part of us and very different from us. The parks needs to remain intact in order for us to realize how valuable nature is and how separate it is from our daily lives of cell phones, cars, TV, computers, etc. It only takes one look at a Bison up close to realize that there are things more powerful than Facebook likes.
What would you say to someone who’s never been to a park and/or doesn’t really have a connection with parks?
Go. Experience it, enjoy it, take it all in. But do not forget that, even if you only go for a day, this is part of you. It’s where we come from, it’s what came before us. Parks represent what we sometime forget in our busy lives; that we are all from the Earth, and despite the high rises we may live in, we were all rummaging through the dirt and trees and plants and animals not very long ago.
Parks need you. Your continued support ensures that the parks remain vibrant, relevant, and preserved for today and always.
So get out and find your park. Share it on social media using #FindYourPark and #EncuentraTuParque. And then support your park – they can’t survive, let alone thrive, without national park supporters like you.