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The Planet

Celebrate 100 Years Of National Parks With This Stunning Road Trip

by Jesse Hirsch

August 25, 2016

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service, which oversees a vast landscape of roughly 84 million acres. Will and Jim Pattiz, a pair of twentysomething filmmaker brothers, have dedicated themselves to showcasing just how gorgeous our country’s natural spaces are, through a series of stunning videos with their passion project More Than Just Parks.

The idea to create this visual appreciation began several years back on a road trip, after stopping by the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Will says that park is an otherworldly experience, like stepping onto another planet. The brothers were so floored that they vowed to use their talents to share this—and other—national parks with the world. 

They’ve now created seven short films (including South Dakota’s Badlands, above) each one capturing an individual park with remarkable clarity. Their videos have garnered a dedicated fanbase, with some clocking almost 200,000 views. The project’s goal is simply to entice people to visit these national treasures, or to give you an armchair experience if you can’t actually get there. (They’ve received a number of emails from disabled and elderly viewers, thanking them for such a vivid simulated tour.) 

“What I love about our national parks,” says Jim, “is that they are so uniquely American. It’s truly incredible that the government would choose to set aside some of our most stunningly beautiful land, simply for the benefit and enjoyment of people for all time. This sets our country apart.”

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Celebrate 100 Years Of National Parks With This Stunning Road Trip