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Touring Our Great National Parks

Protected wilderness areas are “a haven for endangered species and a hotbed for scientific research,” says former President Barack Obama in Our Great National Parks, a new series from Netflix.

Bright-red soil in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park. Sea otters twirling off the coast of California in Monterey Bay. Lush rainforests in Indonesia’s Gunung Leuser National Park. These are just a few of the breathtaking scenes from around the world shown in Our Great National Parks. Narrated by former President Barack Obama, the five-part docuseries debuts on April 13.   

Viewers of the new Netflix series learn that the National Park Service was created in 1916 by an act signed by President Woodrow Wilson. The intent was to conserve some of the wildlife and breathtaking scenery in the United States for the enjoyment of future generations. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are now more than 4,000 national parks worldwide. 

Our Great National Parks introduces viewers to the reasons these parks are such appealing tourist destinations. James Honeyborne, the executive producer, said that he was inspired to create the series because national parks, he believes, “are one of the greatest conservation success stories in history.”

“They are full of important things and do important processes and look after our planet,” Honeyborne told me via video. “We wanted to turn the spotlight on the importance of wilderness.” 

According to Sophie Todd, the series producer, President Obama shares “his passion for nature” in Our Great National Parks, which “is something that he talked about a lot.”

Obama protected more public land and water than any other U. S. President. “For the series, we wanted to have someone who really cared about the subject,” Todd said.


“This is a journey through the natural wonders of our shared birthright,” former President Obama says in the new Netflix docuseries. 


Todd knows that not everyone will get a chance to visit a national park. But she hopes that viewing the series will help people understand the pivotal role wilderness plays in our lives.

“I hope students will enjoy how important it is that we create parks and how important it is that we value them,” Todd said.

Honeyborne emphasized that every bit of wilderness matters, even our local parks. To raise awareness about the need to protect nature, Honeyborne and others involved in the series have launched a campaign called Wild for All.

“It’s meant to activate people who ask, ‘What can I do to help?’” he said. “‘How do I learn how to get involved?’” 


“I hope students will enjoy how important it is that we create parks and how important it is that we value them,” says Sophie Todd, the series producer. 

Photos courtesy of Netflix