The Big Picture: A Window on America's Parks

  • July 26, 2019

Editor’s Recommendation

Why America's National Parks Need Help

by Don Belt

Winter 2017

A meteor shoots through the night sky above Price Lake in North Carolina, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although the 469-mile road—through America’s longest linear park, bisecting Virginia and North Carolina—offers abundant scenic vistas, it is marred by serious rough patches. It’s not alone: Aging infrastructure and inadequate annual maintenance funding have left over half of the National Park Service’s 75,000-plus assets in need of repairs totaling nearly $12 billion. Pew is working with partners to seek increased, dedicated funding to relieve the maintenance backlog.

Photo: Victor Ellison/Getty Images