Written and Created by Charlotte Vieth, ESLLC 2018-2019
How do people take a break from the rush of their daily lives? They travel, bike around the city, go to an amusement park, binge watch a tv show, go for a run, spend some quality time with family, go to yoga classes, and much more. There are many health benefits that come with getting away from one’s work or daily routine and taking time for oneself. Many people travel to national parks like Yosemite, Zion, Sequoia, Arches, and Yellowstone to relax and enjoy the natural and untouched sights the world has to offer. In 1872, the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, making Yellowstone the first national park. This act says that Yellowstone is “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people”. Even though the preservation of national parks for the reason that people like to visit for leisure may seem insignificant, it has actually been proven that having contact with the natural environment can greatly reduce stress. The pollution in densely populated areas, depending on the severity, can also cause people’s bodies to have to work harder to get enough oxygen, damage lungs and the immune system, and cause an imbalance in neurotransmitters like serotonin that helps regulate mood.
Deforestation, fracking, overpopulation, and increasing co2 emissions all contribute to the pressing environmental issue of climate change. The ecosystems that can be found in national parks must be protected because they help keep water, air, and soil clean. Healthy ecosystems lead to increased biodiversity, which is necessary for the future of the planet, as an ecosystem can adapt more effectively to climate change when there is a greater variety of wildlife. A thriving natural environment also provides people with food which is kind of important. Without government protections on places like the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, and Muir Woods, there would be an even greater exploitation of natural resources and destruction of animals’ habitats, creating an imbalanced environment.