Q&A With National Park Foundation Supporter Richard Nickel

Richard Nickel and the Jefferson Memorial

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is supported by 26 marble columns. And one retired teacher.
Richard Nickel may live in a town of only 2,158 people, but as a part of the National Park Foundation community, he impacts millions in America’s biggest cities by supporting urban oases like the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

We recently chatted with Richard to find out what the national parks mean to him:

What does the phrase “find your park” mean to you?
There are a wide variety of national parks across the United States. Some have great variety of wildlife while others are magnificent examples of the different landscapes/environments throughout this country. Each individual has different interests, whether it is exploring a park to simply enjoy the beauty of familiar surroundings or to explore an area that is totally different from the norm. There is a park for each individual’s interest. Explore, get out there and “Find Your Park.”

What is your Find Your Park story?
The animals, and their lack of fear of human beings. I was hiking along the Virgin River in Zion National Park. I moved back up along the walking path and there was a beautiful mule deer grazing in the grass. His antlers were covered in velvet and he seemed to be completely oblivious to the humans nearby. As I followed him along the path he came within arms reach of me and simply continued to graze. To see such a beautiful animal up close and unafraid of me was a special moment.

How many parks have you been to and which is your favorite?
7. Bryce Canyon is my favorite park because the landscape is stunning, colorful and constantly changing.

Would you like to go back?
Yes. Would like to spend time on my own exploring both Bryce and Zion.

How does being in a park make you feel?
Privileged. As if I’ve been given a rare opportunity to explore a special part of this country. 

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. 


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