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.

Where to Watch

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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