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National Parks in MA Bustling with Visitors

April 26, 2010

LOWELL, Mass. - Many folks took advantage of one of "America's best ideas" over the weekend. National parks in Massachusetts and around the nation were full of visitors who were able to enter free of charge until Sunday as part of National Parks Week.

Ron Tipton, senior vice president for policy with the National Parks Conservation Association, says the event was a way to remind Americans of the value and availability of the nation's parks and the importance of preserving them. He says park visitation numbers have been up, and they expect the trend to continue.

"We're building on the largest increase in a single year in national park attendance in many, many years. We had a four percent increase in visitation to the national parks during 2009."

From the Cape Cod National Seashore to Lowell National Historical Park and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Tipton says Bay Staters are proud of the natural beauty and heritage of their state.

"These parks are very important to the people of the state, and not insignificantly, they help the economy of communities located near parks."

Tipton is grateful that preserving the country's national parks is a bi-partisan issue. He also is encouraged by President Obama's newly launched "Americas Great Outdoor's Initiative," which he says will help keep the role of national parks, land conservation and wildlife protection central to the national dialogue.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA