Walk Through Our Digital #FindYourPark Friday Gallery

Our Social Media Followers Share their Favorite Park-Inspired Art and Images
Rebecca WatsonNPF Blog
Atop a map of Yellowstone National Park, a set of watercolor paints, a watercolor paint pen, three small pictures of parks (painted in watercolor) and a braided bracelet
Watercolor polaroids created by Jessica Goolsby (@JessicaGoolsby on Twitter)

There is a long tradition of art created in and inspired by our national parks – from painted landscapes and iconic music venues to famous photographs and stirring backdrops for film projects. Capturing the beauty of our public land, its resources, and our shared history, these works and artists shine a light on our national parks and all the treasures and stories they hold.

In 2020, we’re highlighting the national park art, imagery, and memories of our social media followers in a series of #FindYourPark Friday challenges. Take a walk through our virtual gallery and discover how our community of park champions continues to be inspired by national parks.

Park-Inspired Artwork

A collection of art inspired by national parks, from pottery to pencil sketches

National park-inspired art from our social media followers

We asked our followers to participate in our first-ever #FindYourPark Friday Art Show, and did they ever show up! Check out these beautiful works of art from our social media followers. Featured artists include: Shelly Sayler's "Study in Water" pottery (Facebook), Rosie Shields' Arches-inspired stained glass (submitted by Kitty Shields on Facebook), Leah Jewell's Death Valley work-in-progress (@LeahJewell1 on Twitter), Margaret Hass' poster for National Park of American Samoa (submitted by @OnondagaArt on Twitter), a contemporary piece from a young park enthusiast (submitted by @mlldc on Twitter), a bold wolf-inspired illustration (@CanisOvis on Twitter), Alana Bowles' Rocky Mountain-inspired hand embroidery (Facebook), watercolor polaroids from Jessica Goolsby (@JessicaJGoolsby on Twitter), a plein air study from Claire Hummel (@shoolmah on Twitter), and a type print from Anna Zenia (@AnnaZenia on Twitter). 

Park-Inspired Haikus

Collage of images of parks and haikus submitted by social media followers of the National Park Foundation

In honor of National Haiku Day, we asked our followers to write short poems that celebrate our national parks. Explore more wonderful haikus from our social media followers. Featured poets include: Craig (@craig1555 on Twitter), Alison (@Alafral on Twitter), Jan Perrin (Facebook), Linda Derrig (Facebook) Melanie Phoenix (Facebook), and the National Park Service (@NatlParkService on Twitter).

Creating Park Vistas at Home

During National Park Week, we asked our followers to recreate some of their favorite views from past trips to national parks at home. Explore the marvelous scenes from our social media followers. Featured scenes include a backyard sequoia tree planted in honor of Sequoia and King's Canyon National Park (@KarenSubaru on Twitter), Jordan Pond at Acadia National Park recreated by Jayne M. Iafrate (Facebook), and a wildlife adventure at Yellowstone National Park from Heidi Dudley (Facebook).

Campfire Recipes

We asked our followers to share some of their favorite recipes for food they've enjoyed at national parks. Discover some delicious concoctions from our social media followers. Featured recipes include submissions from Connie Eastburn-Lohmann (Facebook), Donna Habecker (Facebook), @annersmith (Twitter), Lisa Nyberg (Facebook), Katie Butler (Facebook), @TofollowGCchief (Twitter), and Amy White (Facebook).

Park Pics of Moms

In honor of Mother's Day, we asked our followers to share some of their pictures of their mothers in national parks. Discover some of the best pics from our social media followers. Featured pictures include submissions from @MadeleineBBB (Twitter), Andia and her mother at Point Reyes National Seashore (NPF Expedition Alumni), Jessica Sanford and her mom at Smoky Mountains National Park (Facebook), a Smoky Mountains National Park family picture from Carmen Bowser Payne (Facebook), a snap from Virgin Islands National Park from Lucille (NPF), a memorable picture of mom from @Pandorly1 (Twitter) at the Grand Canyon, a selfie from Lauren Harre (Facebook) and her mother, an ode to a mom and park ranger at Lassen Volcanic National Park from @KirrinPeart (Twitter), a picture with mom at Glacier National Park from Maria Blanton Hespen (Facebook), an image from a memorable family reunion in Rocky Mountains National Park from @naturetechfam (Twitter), a family portrait in Grand Canyon National Park from Susan Schulz Marks (Facebook), and a family picture at Joshua Tree National Park from Melanie (NPF Expedition Alumni).

Park-Inspired Playlist

To get into the summer groove, we asked our followers to share the songs that remind them of a national park. From road trip playlist must-haves to sweeping symphonies, our followers stepped right up with recommendations

Best "Worst" Park Photos

Collage of images of blurry or funny pictures taken in parks submitted by social media followers of the National Park Foundation

National park photography often shows beautiful beaches, iconic architecture, sweeping meadows and towering mountains - but sometimes your camera just can't capture that. We asked our social media followers for their best "bad" photos taken in national parks, and they were happy to supply ill-timed animal pictures, awkward selfies and more! Featured submissions include: a missed marmot at Rocky Mountain National Park (Ellen Lyons, Facebook), a beautiful boulder in Olympic National Park (Facebook, Jessica Sanford), a defiant deer at Glacier National Park (Facebook, Boni Engeldiner), a sun-streaked Sequoia National Park (Facebook, Leanna Springer), a scenic temper tantum at Big Bend National Park (Facebook, Brad Delacroix), a fog-shrouded mountain lion at Roosevelt National Park (Facebook, Dawn Lopez), a nightime snap at Joshua Tree National Park (Facebook, Allison Pengilley-Wimmer), a lurking bear at Yellowstone National Park (Facebook, David Knighton), a fear of heights panic at Arches National Park (Facebook, Robin Wolff Busalacchi), a room with a view at Crater Lake National Park (Facebook, Rosemary Keating Stuttle), a blue jay in flight (@LeeHillerLondon on Twitter), a foggy Yosemite National Park (Facebook, Sherri A. Hobbs), a bee photobomb at Glacier National Park (Facebook, Debby Olson Bluem), a blurry moose calf at Grand Teton National Park (Facebook, Don Senda), a less-than iconic view of Acadia National Park (Facebook, Julie R. Graham), and a blurry snap of Rocky Mountains National Park (Facebook, Allison Pengilley-Wimmer).

Park Wildflowers

Collage of images of flowers found in parks submitted by social media followers of the National Park Foundation

To celebrate summer days, we asked our social media followers to submit their favorite photos of flowers they've seen in parks. Take a walk through the flowers that can be spotted in our national parks. Featured flowers in our virtual garden include flowers from Charlene Frame's trip to Glacier National Park (Facebook), Chris Ely's walks through Badlands National Park and Cape Canaveral National Seashore (Facebook), Kathy Thomson's hike through Yellowstone National Park (@KathyThomson on Twitter), desert discoveries spotted at Arches National Park by Diane Piekara (Facebook), Cheryl Hanke's trip to Captial Reef National Park (Facebook), Michal Cottrill's otherworldly journey at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (Facebook), Mike Altese's hike in Glacier National Park (@mpharmd98 on Twitter), Aaron Wilson's walk through Mount Rainier National Park (Facebook), Doreen Stephen's visit to Big Bend National Park (Facebook), AP's summer trip to Mount Rainier National Park (@RailsandSports on Twitter), Carmela Nistico Jones's walk through Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Facebook), Deedee Nadeau's idyllic day at Grand Teton National Park, and Amy Knapp's visit to Olympic National Park.

Park Pics of Dads

Collage of images submitted by social media followers, depicting dads and families in national parks

In honor of Father’s Day, we asked our followers to share some of their pictures of their fathers in national parks. Discover some of the best pics from our social media followers. Featured pictures include submissions from Renee Letellier Murakami at Arches National Park in 2018 (Facebook), AP’s parents pictured at Mount Rainier National Park (@RailandSports on Twitter), a shot in Bryce Canyon in 2018 from Jan Lewka (Facebook), family pictures taken by Beatrice Alvarez (Facebook), a picture outside Yosemite National Park from Cheryl Hanke (Facebook), a triumphant picture from Shana Morda (Facebook), and a family picture from Smoky Mountains National Park from Charlie Kulick (Facebook).

Red, White & Blue in Parks

Collage of images featuring red, white, and blue submitted by social media followers of the National Park Foundation

In honor of Independence Day, we asked our social media followers to submit their national park pictures that featured red, white, and blue or evoked a patriotic memory. Featured images include Cheryl Hanke’s shot from Denali National Park (Facebook), a sunny day spent in Mount Rainier National Park by Kelsea Larsen (Facebook), Elz’s photo from Arches National Park (@txelz on Twitter), a quiet moment at Fremont Lookout in Mount Rainier National Park spent by Amanda Martin (@amartinphotoPNW on Twitter), a photo from Redwood National and State Parks from Rose Stropek Menefee (Facebook), a flag flying at Petrified Forest National Park as seen by Marisol Holder (@realmariholder on Twitter), a selfie from PBS (@Mr_P_B_Skinner on Twitter) in front of Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, a shot from Manzanar National Historic Site from Gabriele Gonder Carey (Facebook), stickers commemorating trips to parks from Sally Hale (Facebook), an image from Elz’s trip to Big Bend National Park (@txelz on Twitter), a picture from Mount Rushmore National Memorial taken by Rae Costa (Facebook), a shot of Statue of Liberty National Monument from John Sullivan (Facebook), a photo of the cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park from Heather El (Facebook), a flag flying at Devil’s Tower National Monument as seen by Barry Holloway (Facebook), Kellie and PBS looking out at the Great Smoky Mountains (@ksinne1 on Twitter), a trio of flags as seen at San Juan Island National Historical Park spotted by Elizabeth Hurley (Facebook), flags flying at National Mall and Memorial Parks seen by Alan Ng (Facebook), a shot of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine from Stacee Hawkins (Facebook), and a flag flying with Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park seen by Carla Schuth Weir (Facebook).

Flashback Photos

Collage of images submitted by social media followers, depicting visitors of national parks throughout the past fifty years

Our national parks have been preserved by the National Park Service for over 100 years. To celebrate this legacy, we asked our social media followers to submit their favorite throwback pictures of trips they've made to parks throughout the years. Featured submissions include a 1964 camping trip to Yellowstone National Park's May Lake with Jane Van de Vaarst (Facebook), a trip to Mesa Verde National Park in 1956 from Carol Caslow (Facebook), a recent visit to Fort Frederica National Monument by Teri Rotondo Tracey (Facebook), a 1974 fishing trip with Donna Blosser's grandparents at Yellowstone National Park (Facebook), a moment from Isle Royale National Park captured by Heidi Weber (Facebook), a sunny moment at El Morro National Monument from Regis Scanlon (Facebook), an image from Yellowstone National Park's Geyser Basin in 1956 from Carol Caslow (Facebook), a visit to Independence National Historical Park in 2012 from Cathi La Sota, a black and white photo from Glacier National Park in 1972 from Mark Lanning (Facebook), a 1964 snap from a visit to Petrified Forest National Park from Rebecca Colip (Facebook), a 1990 Phantom Ranch mule ride in Grand Canyon National Park enjoyed by Ray Ann Fune Sullivan (Facebook), a 2015 trip to Minute Man National Historical Park from Cathi La Sota (Facebook), a 1956 trip to Petrified Forest National Park from Carol Caslow (Facebook), and a recent trip to Grand Canyon National Park enjoyed by Susan Lasota (Facebook). 

Book Club

Collage of book titles submitted by social media followers

Our national parks can serve as the perfect backdrop to stories of all kinds. We asked our social media followers which are their favorite national park-set books, novels, and stories, and they came back with a collection of titles worth a book club's full focus! Included in our reading list are Peggy L. Henderson's Yellowstone and Grand Teton series, as well as Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series, both recommended by many, Louise Erdrich's Books & Islands in Ojibwe Country, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, and John Muir's John of the Mountains, all recommended by Sarah Frantom, Matt and Karen Smith's Dear Bob and Sue, recommended by Melissa Grothe, Sally Thompson's People Before the Park: The Kootenai and Blackfeet before Glacier National Park, recommended by Tom Sahlberg, Craig Childs' The Secret Knowledge of Water, recommended by Corinne Conlon, John Wesley Powell's Down the Great Unknown, recommended by Sonya Svaty, Marjory Stoneman Douglas' The Everglades: River of Grass, recommended by Cathy Irvin Coffey, C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series, recommended by Jean Gross, T. Scott Bryan's The Geysers of Yellowstone, Janet Chapple's Yellowstone Treasures, and Paul Rubenstein, Lee H. Whittlesey, and Mike Stevens' The Guide to Yellowstone Waterfalls and their Discovery, all guide books recommended by Stephen Eide, Colin Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Through Time, Christine Carbo's Glacier Park mystery series, and Marguerite Henry's Brighty of the Grand Canyon, all recommended by Glenda Dietrich Moore, Eric Blehm's The Last Season, recommended by Ray Ann Fune Sullivan, Andrea Lankford's Ranger Confidential, recommended by Lauren Harre, George Black's Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone, recommended by Michael G. Reischman, Terry Tempest Williams' The Hour of Land, recommended by Stacie West, and Douglas Brinkley's The Wilderness Warrior, recommended by Terry Harlow.

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