With funding from General Motors (GM) and the vision of two- time Oscar nominee, Ken Burns, comes a
spectacular visual experience. The PBS presentation, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA, is a six-part
series tracing the birth of the national parks with innovators like John Muir, Galen Clark, and James Hutchings
in Yosemite to today’s national park system. In his interview on the origins of the national parks, Burns
noted, “It began at Yosemite, spread around the United States, and now it has been copied around the
The series covers 58 national parks and 333 national monuments and historic sights resident in 49 of the
50 states. That missing state is Delaware, which has no national parks or monuments within it.
The series also explores the origin of the national park concept. Since their inception, Yosemite and
Yellowstone have battled for who was first. Shelton Johnson, a Yosemite park ranger said, "This film will
probably be the definitive statement in film for a long time on the idea of national parks." Burns said
he visited 53 of the 58 national parks featured in his film, but it was Yosemite that made his jaw drop
for the first time.
Aside from which park was first, the awe of Yosemite will never be diminished. From majestic waterfalls
to the grandeur of El Capitan and Half Dome, you will love this grand piece of Americana.
The series will start September 27th on PBS or better yet, visit Yosemite this summer and see it yourself.
Keywords: general motors, gm, Yosemite, PBS, John Muir, Ken Burns, Yellowstone, El Capitan, Half Dome