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Volume 30
Number 2
Fall 2013
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From the Editor
Published: 15 Jan 2014 (online)  •  30 Jan 2014 (in print)
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Parks and people: Past, present, and future

In our search for personal growth and a better understanding of American heritage, national parks facilitate transformative experiences. They blend aspects of inspiration, discovery, challenge, recreation, and education as we seek to define and celebrate ourselves and our national identity. The parks are there for us to experience, learn from, and enjoy.

Another important role for national parks is emerging. Increasingly parks are being recognized as places with great potential to enhance public health, especially at a time when stress, poor nutritional choices, and a lack of physical activity are contributing to widespread health problems. Concern for public health is galvanizing a movement among scholars, health professionals, business and nonprofit leaders, and park managers to work together in order to engage the public to a greater degree in discovering the healthful benefits of national (and all) parks.

In this issue of Park Science we highlight this idea in a brief series of articles that explores the science behind these perceptions and the implications for resource management. Several national parks have begun to develop and market their health values for exercise, free play, and nutrition. The articles also discuss the compatibility of these goals with the need for natural and cultural resource stewardship.

We also feature a section on recent archeological research in national parks. The authors describe the evolution and application of archeological techniques, particularly the integration of various data sets, that are increasing our knowledge of past park inhabitants.

Centuries from now a historian or archeologist studying a national park will find a photograph, letter, or notated brochure. Along with other information, the relic will paint a picture of 21st-century people who loved their national parks and how the parks helped fulfill a variety of societal needs. The story of people and their parks is continuous and science is a tool that helps us to write the next chapter.

Jeff Selleck, Editor

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The Nature Play Zone at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: A case study
The “Monte Video” inscription at Grand Canyon National Park: Why it’s likely from the Bass tourist era
Deep-time perspectives and understanding change on public lands
Predicting the past with GIS at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Archeological contributions to climate change studies: Past, present, and future
Ojibwe cultural landscapes of Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
Use of high-resolution airborne laser scanning for the analysis of archeological and natural landscapes on the northern Great Plains
Native American culture and prehistoric bison hunting in the Black Hills
Park health resources: Benefits, values, and implications
Development of a Healthy Parks Healthy People strategic action plan for Hot Springs National Park
Managing vegetation for children: Enhancing free-play opportunities through direct management
Cars and canyons: Understanding roadside impacts of automobile pollution in Grand Canyon National Park
Cattail hybridization in national parks: An example of cryptic plant invasions
Shoreline Changes in Jamaica Bay, Gateway National Recreation Area, 1924–2006: Implications for Shoreline Restoration
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