National Geographic : 1963 Nov
alissa Park; Mr. Nash is one of the professors. Preservation of historic sites and objects is an important responsibility of all park author ities. Understanding the past is valuable and inspiring. Patrick Henry put it this way: "I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past." A few states established parks of their own before the turn of the century, but the big year for the state parks movement was 1921. Called together by Stephen T. Mather, then Director of National Parks, some 200 con servationists met in Des Moines, Iowa, and promulgated the idea of state participation in the all-American system of parks. "There shall be public parks, forests and preserves within easy access of all the citizens of every state and territory of the United States," the group recommended. County parks came later. Many were es 656 HOGRAPHBY S. ROWSE, NEWYORKPUBLIC LIBRARY, PHELPS STOKES COLLECTION tablished near big cities whose residential suburbs had sprawled over city boundaries. In such cases the city and county parks really form a single large metropolitan park system. State parks in general preserve areas of interest mainly to the citizens of the state and are handier to the local people than a national park might be. Some offer less scenery and more varied recreation-things like group camps, baseball, and such organized sports than a national park provides. This is the way it should be, but many offer, as sort of a bonus, scenery that meets national park spec ifications so well that it makes us envious.* The city park moves still farther away from nature, furnishing a rich variety of worth while artificial recreational forms-zoos, swimming pools, playgrounds, museums, music, formal flower gardens, even Ferris wheels and carrousels. *See "Heritage of Beauty and History," by Conrad L. Wirth, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, May, 1958.