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MeL Minute: Explore our National Parks with Science Reference Center

Explore Our National Parks with Science Reference Center
There is much to celebrate this month, including National Park Week, April 16 to 24! While there are over 400 sites managed and protected by the National Park Service, there are only 63 National Parks throughout the United States and its territories, with New River Gorge National Park and Preserve most recently added in 2020.  Many eResources in the Michigan eLibrary have content related to National Parks, but there is no one eResource more comprehensive on this subject matter than Science Reference Center.

Bucket-List Ideas
It might be tricky to tackle all 63 parks; however, striving to visit the four found in the Great Lakes Region can kick off any great bucket list. Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio recently had Brecksville Dam removed, allowing the Cuyahoga River to be free flowing for the first time in over 200 years. Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota has some of the oldest rocks in the world. The Indiana Dunes National Park gives visitors access to beautiful beaches and 225 archaeological sites dating back over 10,000 years. With over 450 islands, 938+ plant species, and 338+ animal species, Isle Royale National Park is Michigan’s very own pride and joy. Don’t put your visit off another year, though, as Greenstone Ridge Trail through Isle Royale is considered one of the top 12 most endangered trails in the country.

Conservation, Preservation & Protection
While many argue for conservation, preservation, and protection of our National Parks, there are always challenges to the best laid plans. Joshua Tree National Park, for example, could lose the very tree that made it famous by 2100 due to impacts of global warming. Nevertheless, the work of the National Park Service to “minimize human impacts wherever possible” highlighted in the article, Navigating the Future of our National Parks: The Perils & Opportunities, gives clear purpose to the mission of those who manage these vast natural spaces.

Yellowstone turns 150!
This is a great year to make your way to Yellowstone National Park, the first to be protected by an act of Congress in 1872. Saving America’s Treasures reminds us, however, that although Yellowstone paved the way for future protection of more than 50 million acres of land, not everyone has benefited.With infographics for all 63 National Parks, the National Laboratories: Scientists in National Parks series, and hundreds of articles to explore, Science Reference Center is an outstanding National Park resource.

Brought to you by Ann Kaskinen and the MeL Team.