Millions of people visit the National Parks each year, but park officials say that visitors fees are not enough to keep the parks open. That is why, according to a recent article on WBAL TV’s online website, the National Park service is considering selling sponsorships to help keep the parks open.
The proposal would allow sponsors to put logos on just about everything, including bathrooms, benches, and the pavement under people’s feet. For most people this would take away from the pristine beauty of the parks. People come to the parks to experience nature and get away from the crass commercialism and noise that comes with everyday life.
While their is no certainty that the proposal will get approved, it is clear that the push for corporate sponsors is a troubling one, particularly for many of the park’s regular visitors. The money from corporate sponsors could help the National Park system make some much anticipated and much needed improvements in order to ensure that none of the parks are closed to the public. Fort Hood in Baltimore, for example hopes to add a piece of the National Anthem that they are missing.
A decision like this could set a terrible precedent. Old stadiums were once great examples of classic architecture, but today, stadiums are often covered in as much advertising as possible. Many people think that this is very distracting and takes away from their enjoyment of the game. Decline in the attendance at certain sporting events certainly supports this theory to an extent. While the temporary influx of money into the National Parks System would be welcome it is very important to consider the cost.