The National Parks: America's Best Idea

  • 2009
  • 1 Season
  • TV-G

A sumptuously filmed documentary series that explores the origins of America's national parks, from their genesis in the mid-1800s to the present. It features archival photographs, personal memories, more than 40 interviews and gorgeous cinematography of such locales as Acadia, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone.

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Available to Stream

Season 1, Episode 3 The Empire of Grandeur (1915-1919)

First Aired: September 29, 2009

The years 1915-19, when the conservation movement successfully pressured the federal government to create the National Park Service to oversee the nation's national parks, are recalled. Included: the work of the first National Park Service director, Stephen Mather, to expand the park system and attract more visitors, and to transform the Grand Canyon from a national monument to a national park.

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