Watch: A Funny, Honest History of America’s National Parks

A wild, warp-speed look at the genesis of national park—and what they mean to Americans now.

National parks haven’t always been RVs and vistas. Take a wild, warp speed journey through their tumultuous history with this video, made by director Ryan Maxey. Inspired by Bill Wurtz’s History of Japan video, he took a dive into historical storytelling, sourcing the material for his (unofficial) History of the National Parks video from the national archives.

“I thought it was a fun dive into historical storytelling, so I took a shot at making something similar about how unique and difficult it is to preserve massive amounts of wild lands,” says Maxey.

The film was made hand-in-hand with the Parks Project, a nonprofit founded by two of Maxey’s good friends that helps fundraise for a variety of parks conservancies. He’s worked with them before; a few years ago they send him on a long journey through the national parks to make their launch video. Since then, he’s made a number of videos on the beat of environmental preservation like this one for the National Parks Conservation Association.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Mark Sevenoff

    Love it!

  • KP Travers

    Thank you! Sharing, posting, posting, sharing.

  • L Phillips

    Love it! Thank you very much!

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