Dede's Green Scene: Bill Nye the National Park Guy! by Dede Tabak, August 31 2016, 0 Comments

(Aug. 21, 2016 - Source: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images North America)

Bill Nye has had a knack for inspiring children to pursue their scientific curiosity for over 20 years. Now, he’s hoping to inspire the nation to preserve our national parks through his ambassador work with the National Park Service (NPS). August 25 marked the 100th anniversary of the NPS and the milestone was celebrated all summer with activities that were not only fun but educational too. On Monday, August 22, Bill Nye celebrated the centennial in Brooklyn Bridge Park where he helped others "find their park". The Find Your Park campaign hopes to increase awareness and preservation of our national parks and to help people discover these natural wonders.

The NPS was created by Congress on August 25, 1916. Since then, 58 national parks—over 84 million acres—have been cared for and protected. And if it wasn’t for our national parks, Bill Nye might have never been our “Science Guy.” Bill Nye says that his time spent in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. as a child is what sparked his passion for science. Now, he wants to make sure our national parks are still around to inspire our future generations.

“One of the biggest threats facing these regions of our country is climate change, which means some of the unique features of our national parks may not be around for much longer.” Bill Nye said in his speech on Monday, August 22. 

The National Park Service partnered with One World Trade Center and Brooklyn Bridge Park for the event on Monday. Participants were able to control the color of the One World Trade Center spike by solving collaborative puzzles on a giant digital circuit board. The night also included music by Questlove and Ramblin’ Dan. Bill Nye spoke and urged individuals to vote in the incoming election. He didn’t specify which candidate, but asked for people to research which candidate’s policies would affect climate change the most.

"I just got back from Glacier National Park, and there are only a few glaciers left. And the official word is by 2030, they'll all be gone," Nye told The Verge in an interview. "But the park rangers I spoke with—a dozen park rangers over the course of a few days—no, no, five, six, seven years, certainly by 2025, all the glaciers will be gone."

The event also hosted the U.S Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, as well as numerous park rangers who were there to answer questions about our national parks. Other events included interactive activities sponsored by Thomas Edison Historical Park that were meant to bring parks to life in urban areas and demonstrate the diversity of park experiences. This is part of a three-part series of the “Find Your Park" campaign to build public engagement with national parks.

Bill Nye said it best on Monday night:

“We want to preserve our parks for future generations. That is why this campaign, Find Your Park, is important. It reminds everybody that you can visit a national park and I strongly believe that once you do, you’ll want to preserve it.”

Click here for more information on the #FindYourPark campaign.