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In the course of a worldwide upswing of environmental protection activism, Earth Day was founded in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson. It first took place in the US with 20 million participants. Now, every year, people in more than 150 countries celebrate Earth Day on April 22, drawing attention to regional, national and international environmental projects. National parks have long been an important pillar of environmental protection and therefore deserve our attention, especially on Earth Day. In the US, they have been a central part of the national identity since the beginning of the 20th century, attracting numerous tourists since the beginning. In Germany, the concept of national parks has only been established in the 1970s, although nature reserves were also created before then. What are representatives of the different park traditions able to share with each other?
How do such experts evaluate the interplay of tourism and environmental protection in their national parks? In this online event, we invite you to a transatlantic dialogue between a top ranger of the Yosemite National Park, established in 1890, and a senior staff member of the Black Forest National Park, established in 2014.
Simone Stübner, is the head of public relations at the Black Forest National Park. She also visited „Yosemite National Park“ as part of an exchange program for German rangers. This visit impressed her deeply and inspired her further work.
Shelton Johnson, a ranger in “Yosemite National Park“ since 1994, has already met celebrities such as Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey through his work. He is particularly committed to bringing national parks and a connection to nature to the African-American population as well. Johnson spent part of his childhood in Germany, where he had his first formative experiences with nature in the Alps and the Black Forest.