August 25 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. National Parks Service, and National Geographic is celebrating by offering audiences multiple ways to discover the parks and learn how to preserve them for future generations.
The push comes as part of National Geographic’s Power of Parks initiative, a yearlong campaign launched in January to commemorate the Parks Service Centennial. The program engages each of National Geographic’s media platforms, including television, publishing outlets, and social media, and includes an Explore the Power of Parks web portal featuring the latest magazine stories and photos, travel guides, maps, and educational resources. In the week leading up to the August 25 anniversary, National Geographic has unveiled a special programming slate, featuring a range of new content on TV, in print and online.
The newest issue of National Geographic magazine features the story of two journalists’ attempt to hike the length of the Grand Canyon and reveal the commercial interests threatening the park. National Geographic is also highlighting 20 young people making a difference at national parks around the world, as well as photographer Jonathan Irish’s “59 Parks in 52 Weeks” series. In addition, David Quammen’s new book, “Yellowstone: A Journey Through America’s Wild Heart,” published by National Geographic Books, went on sale August 23.
On television, National Geographic Channels will broadcast an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama, airing in two parts on August 23 and August 24 at 9 p.m. EDT. President Obama’s interview was recorded with “Explorer” host Richard Bacon during his June 18 visit to Yosemite National Park. During the visit, National Geographic teamed up with the White House, Facebook and its Oculus team, and Felix & Paul Studios to create the world’s first virtual reality video ever made with a sitting president. The video will be available on August 25.
President Obama’s conversation with Bacon spanned a range of subjects, including climate change, conservation and the cultural value of the national parks, which Obama describes as “America’s best idea.”
“I think that the way a place like this imprints itself in you, especially when you’re young, and carries on for the rest of your life, is remarkable,” Obama said. “I do believe that when we get kids, families, out in open spaces, it changes them. It roots you. It gives you a sense that there’s something bigger and grander than you. It gives you a sense of order.”
21st Century Fox expanded its partnership with the National Geographic Society last fall, with 27 percent of all proceeds going toward the Society’s scientific pursuits.
For more information on the National Parks Service Centennial, visit NationalGeographic.com.