We have supported the national parks for over 25 years. We have loved the parks since our youth and have spent numerous vacations with our children exploring their wonders. Every year we donate to the National Parks Conservation Association because we want to continue to enjoy these treasures. We are reaching out because our parks are being threatened by $12 billion in needed repairs and not enough funding to make them.

Anyone who has visited any of the parks understands what they mean as the wild jewels of America, an outdoor national wonderland of earthly delights. If you have never been able to visit, you must put it on your agenda today. You will experience the peace, wildness and joy, connecting you to the infinite threads that run through all life.

Unfortunately, Congress has not properly funded the National Park Service for years. Greatly needed park maintenance and repairs are backlogged to the point of embarrassment.

Maine’s parks alone have over $68 million in maintenance needs, including crumbling roads, eroding trails and outdated visitor centers. Rangers do the best they can with the little funds they have, but the problem isn’t going to go away unless our parks get the money they need to make these repairs.

Everyone is welcome to visit these parks. New programs to get children and veterans into and involved in the parks have met great success. These wonderful ideas need to be supported. Congress needs to recommit to making sure our parks have the resources and support they need to continue protecting America’s favorite places.

Eugene and Susan Mickey