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 [www.nps.gov/webrangers], 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.