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National Park Service Director

Mary Bomar, National Park Service Director
Photo caption
Mary Bomar tips her hat to national parks.

Mary Bomar fell in love with our country's parks while traveling the States as a young girl. Now a proud U.S. citizen, she believes "national parks unite us as Americans."

Q What are your earliest memories of visiting national parks?
A I'll never forget the first time I saw the Statue of Liberty. I also remember driving from Chicago to Los Angeles in a woody—the Grand Canyon and the blue skies of Montana.

Q What are some of your favorite parks in the West?
A We always talk about Yosemite and Yellowstone, but don't forget the less famous parks: Tumacácori, Saguaro, Manzanar, Lassen, Walnut Canyon, Hubbell Trading Post.

Q Are there any new parks?
A Yes. The latest is the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Colorado.

Q Do you have any advice for families planning to visit a national park?
A With our WebRanger program [], parents can go online with their kids and scroll through the various activities. If your child has an interest—the Civil War, Native Americans, dinosaurs—then make a point to visit parks associated with it.

Photography courtesy NPS

This article was first published in May 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.