Library News: National Parks Info Set Straight

It has been brought to my attention that I may have gotten some things out of order with my questions and answers about national parks. I do have excuses, although you may not want to hear them. I usually write my articles on Thursdays when I volunteer at the library. But two Thursdays ago, I was on my way to San Francisco, so I wrote my article a day early at home and sent it to the paper.

We got back very from our trip very late the next Wednesday and my husband had a doctor’s appointment that Thursday, so I did not work again, but ran by the library on Friday and threw my article together rather quickly. So I may have missed a detail or two.

Just in case, let me review all my questions, so I don’t leave any unanswered. The national park that has the most visitors each year? It’s also the one closest to us, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The largest national park is Wrangell-St. Elias, with 13 million acres, found in the largest state, Alaska. The smallest national park at 550 acres is Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, Ark.

Which state has the most national parks? The answer is California with nine. Alaska is second with eight, and Utah has five. Georgia does not have a national park. Does that surprise you? Did you immediately think of Cloudland Canyon or Chickamauga Battlefield? Well, Cloudland Canyon is a state park, and while Chickamauga is under the National Park Service, it is designated as a national battlefield or military park.

And finally, the oldest national park in America is Yellowstone, which became a park even before the National Park Service was set up in 1916. The newest national park is Pinnacles National Park in California. Pinnacles was a national monument until 2013, when it was designated a national park by the U.S. Congress.

I did learn something about national parks and how they are designated. The president can designate an area as a national monument, but it requires an act of Congress to designate an area as a national park. On our trip to San Francisco, we visited Muir Woods, which is a beautiful place. Muir Woods is a national monument.

Next week, we will announce the winner of our national parks photo contest and our national parks display will be up for at least another week. For those who missed our slide show, if we can figure it out, maybe we can upload it to one of our tablets so patrons can watch it whenever it’s convenient.

Remember, starting in September, the library will be open on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We hope this will be of help to our patrons.

We had some new folks at our Book Club meeting last week and we hope they will return. The book scheduled for discussion in September is My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg. If you haven’t read any books by Rick Bragg before, then just let me say, you’re missing a blessing.

Bragg grew up in north Alabama and has written several nonfiction books about his family and his life. He is now a professor at the University of Alabama and writes a wonderful monthly essay in Southern Living.

Some of those essays are found in this book, which is a collection of essays about life in the South. The Book Club will meet on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.

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