These National Parks Wouldn't Exist Without Women
April 6, 2017 9:10 AM   Subscribe

From Joshua Tree to Great Sand Dunes, these 6 special places are protected today thanks to their female champions. From the article, "Women were the driving force behind the creation of many of our most popular national parks, yet few today are household names. Time to give credit where credit is due. From Joshua Tree to Great Sand Dunes, these national parks simply wouldn’t exist as we know them today without the tireless efforts of dedicated women. Learn about the unsung heroes who made it happen." I suspect this list is incomplete, but its a good start.
posted by WalkerWestridge (3 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't read this, but I have in mind a thing to consider when reading this about parks:

At work, I once had the pleasure of escorting a team of 4 international staff members on a sightseeing expedition one afternoon; there were a couple guys from Jordan, a woman from Uganda and a woman from Kenya. One of the places we went to see was Central Park, and I gave a quick potted history of the park before we went in, mentioning that it was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. they all nodded politely; most of them were already eager to just get into the park itself.

As we were walking around, though, one woman noticed all the monuments statues to other figures, and then asked me - where was the monument to Frederick Law Olmstead? When I said I didn't think that there was one, she looked scandalized. "He designed this!" she said, gesturing around her. "There SHOULD be a monument to him!"

" could say the park itself is its own monument to him!" I offered weakly. But she didn't really buy that.

So. You can take this as an argument for the parks being their own monuments, or as an argument that we should be commemorating the designers and champions of our wild places and our green places more so in general.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:21 AM on April 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

To add to the list: Barbara McMartin, one of the great champions of the Adirondack State Park!
posted by release the hardwoods! at 10:47 AM on April 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

This comment on the article from the NPCA's Park Advocate is vindication for Lisa Simpson:
We are delighted to hear from readers who are fans of Marjory Stoneman Douglas—she was a true park champion, and her book “River of Grass” was instrumental in the protection of the Everglades. She did not, however, play an outsize role in the creation or a significant expansion of the Everglades, which was the focus of this story. We continue to admire and celebrate Douglas’ achievements while highlighting other, lesser-known park heroes, too.
posted by palindromic at 9:04 AM on April 7, 2017

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