There are several issues facing our parks including overcrowding, climate change, pollution, animal protection, and a lack of funding. Currently, there is a deferred maintenance backlog of over $11 billion. Without the support of the government and private funding, several historic and natural landscapes are at risk of being loved to death. There is a negative impact of tourism on national parks, and it’s up to each one of us to do our part to respect the land and preserve the parks for future generations.
I chose this topic for my social issue projects at Arizona State University during my senior year. I spent a year gathering research, designing a clock, creating a campaign, and capping it off with an interactive public exhibit to support National Parks.
I was tasked with combining one topic of my social issue with time, and designing that as a 12 inch clock. Over 331 million people visited U.S. National Parks in 2018, resulting in overcrowding and trailblazing by enthusiastic tourists and extreme hikers, ultimately causing erosion of park lands. The clock base displays trails from the top 10 most visited parks, and the hour hand follows the trail at one point as time moves forward, but deviates from the trail at all other points. Tourists do not think twice about their impact of straying from trails. However, following the rules and respecting the ground they walk on will ensure a well-maintained park and better visitor experience.
Park Patrons Campaign
I designed a campaign to raise awareness about the negative impact of tourism on national parks, and offer solutions for visitors to respect the parks and preserve them for future generations. The objective of Park Patrons is to entice 45-55 year olds to join the Park Patrons "Club" through an annual $50 donation that goes directly towards the deferred maintenance backlog. This donation makes the audience feel like they are making a direct impact towards preserving the parks, and also becoming part of a group that wants to protect the park’s legacy for their children and grandchildren. In other terms, they are “guardians” of the park as members of the Park Patrons.
For the full campaign I designed a website, social media posts and ads, and a membership packet. When you become a Park Patron, you receive a physical package with a membership certificate, sticker badge for your annual national park pass, a sticker and car magnet, and bragging rights.
My Senior year culminated to one final exhibit show where me and my classmates displayed our social issues during 5 days to the public.