The National Parks: America's Best Idea
The National Parks: America's Best Idea



First Aired

Sep 27, 2009


The National Parks: America's Best Idea


Network: PBS

Status: Ended


The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a six-episode series directed by Ken Burns and written and co-produced by Dayton Duncan. Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales – from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska - The National Parks: America's Best Idea is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.


  • 1

The Scripture of Nature (1851-1890)

Episode 1

In 1851, word spreads across the country of a beautiful... Read more

The Last Refuge: 1890-1915

Episode 2

By the end of the 19th century, widespread industrialization has... Read more

The Empire of Grandeur: 1915-1919

Episode 3

In the early 20th century, America has a dozen national... Read more

Going Home: 1920-1933

Episode 4

While visiting the parks was once predominantly the domain of... Read more

Great Nature: 1933-1945

Episode 5

To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt... Read more

The Morning of Creation (1946-1980)

Episode 6

Following World War II, the parks are overwhelmed as visitation... Read more

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