The National Parks

Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales, the film is a story of people from every conceivable background—rich and poor, soldiers and scientists, natives and newcomers—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.

Morning of Creation (1946-1980)

1h 55m

Examine the proliferation of protected lands and the protection of predatory animals.


  • Great Nature (1933-1945): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Great Nature (1933-1945)

    S1 E5 - 1h 55m

    To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which spawns a “golden age” for the parks through major renovation projects. In a groundbreaking study, a young NPS biologist named George Melendez Wright discovers widespread abuses of animal habitats and pushes the service to reform its wildlife policies.

  • Going Home (1920-1933): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Going Home (1920-1933)

    S1 E4 - 1h 56m

    While visiting the parks was once predominantly the domain of Americans wealthy enough to afford the high-priced train tours, the advent of the automobile allows more people than ever before to visit the parks. Mather embraces this opportunity and works to build more roads in the parks.

  • The Empire Of Grandeur (1915-1919): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Empire Of Grandeur (1915-1919)

    S1 E3 - 1h 52m

    In the early 20th century, America has a dozen national parks, but they are a haphazard patchwork of special places under the supervision of different federal agencies. The conservation movement, after failing to stop the Hetch Hetchy dam, pushes the government to establish one unified agency to oversee all the parks, leading to the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916.

  • The Last Refuge (1890-1915): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Last Refuge (1890-1915)

    S1 E2 - 2h 13m

    By the end of the 19th century, widespread industrialization has left many Americans worried about whether the country will have any pristine land left. Congress has yet to establish clear judicial authority or appropriations for the protection of the parks. This sparks a conservation movement by organizations such as the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, and the Boone and Crockett Club.

  • The Scripture of Nature (1851-1890): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Scripture of Nature (1851-1890)

    S1 E1 - 1h 55m

    In 1851, word spreads across the country of a beautiful area of California’s Yosemite Valley, attracting visitors who wish to exploit the land’s scenery for commercial gain and those who wish to keep it pristine. Among the latter is a Scottish-born wanderer named John Muir, for whom protecting the land becomes a spiritual calling.

Extras + Features


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