This Bud’s For You [Insert Favorite National Park Name Here]

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According to an article by Jason Blevins of The Denver Post, the National Park Service (NPS) has waived its restrictions on partnering with alcohol makers to raise money and awareness for the “Find Your Park” campaign. The NPS established a two-year, $2.5 million deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev that will allow the beer manufacturer to use NPS logos and park images (specifically the Statue of Liberty) on bottle wrappers and caps and to organize “Bud-branded events such as summer concerts inside yet-to-be-named park properties”. The NPS established a directive in 1998 that prohibited it from receiving donations with questionable product and service providers, such as beer and tobacco manufacturers.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the NPS earning some advertising dollars from beer makers. I’d have a problem with the agency partnering with a tobacco business but not so much with a beer company. The NPS needs money badly to keep open and maintain national properties – this gives it some of the capital to do so. I just wish the NPS was partnering with a better beer maker, like Sierra Nevada or another, similarly outdoorsy brand. It seems to me that the only reason Budweiser wants to partner with NPS is to legally use the image of the Statue of Liberty on its beer cans. That seems far less promotional for our beautiful national parks and far more patronizing towards diehard nationalists.

What’s Your National Park?

Recently the National Park Service rolled out with a neat and informative campaign called Find Your Park, which focuses on redefining the traditional definition of “national park”. I agree with the campaign purpose and its aim to reduce typical stereotypes of what qualifies as a national park. I do it too. National recreation areas include much more than just the big parks. For instance, check out this list of national recreation sites and trails in Washington alone. It includes way more properties than the three big parks (Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades) that immediately come to my mind. Based on just this list, I have a lot more exploring to do in the state. The NPS campaign is expected to last until the organization’s Centennial in 2016. Lastly, the NPS campaign nicely incorporates social media – and who doesn’t love that :).

Also, Bill Nye: