From recent episodes of THIS AMERICAN LAND, these brief summaries of stories highlight major repair and maintenance issues affecting America’s national parks.

The Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park’s 18-mile wide natural wonder attracts millions, but the National Park Service is struggling to keep up with needed repairs at the site – including fixes for an aging pipeline that provides water to visitors that come to experience the breathtaking views. This story looks at the challenges facing the NPS as it tries to keep up with deferred maintenance at the site.

The National Mall
It is a major tourist attraction, but the National Mall in Washington, DC has a long repair list that is impacting some of our iconic monuments and the grounds surrounding them. This story takes a look at the millions of dollars in needed repairs there and why more investment is needed in the National Park Service to preserve America’s history in the nation’s capital.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site celebrates the Atlanta neighborhood community where Dr. King was born and lived for much of his childhood. But his birth home and the historic church where he preached and his funeral was held are feeling the weight of needed repairs. This story takes a look at the deferred maintenance pressures the National Park Service faces while trying to preserve the history that shaped the civil rights leader’s legacy.

Bandelier National Monument
Native American history is preserved throughout Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, but with pressure from aging infrastructure and increasing numbers of visitors, the National Park Service turned to several public-private partnerships to help fill the gap – including dealing with inadequate parking and even keeping the lights on.

The one-time maximum security prison in the San Francisco Bay attracts many to see what it was like inside its walls, but the elements are taking its toll on the historic site. Today the National Park Service turns to concrete workers-in-training to help address overdue repairs needed on Alcatraz. While NPS gets public-private partnership help with restoring the concrete, veterans and college students learn a new trade.

Valley Forge National Historical Park  
George Washington camped at this historic site, and now a public-private partnership at the Valley Forge National Historical Park means children also learn here. A private Montessori preschool raised the necessary funding to renovate a historic building at the park under a lease agreement that keeps the building from going into disrepair. This story tells how the National Park Service and the school entered into a public-private partnership that both consider a win-win solution.

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THIS AMERICAN LAND is the leading conservation news magazine program on public television stations nationwide. Opening windows to our country’s amazing natural heritage, we report compelling stories on America’s landscapes, waters and wildlife, taking our viewers to the front lines of conservation, science and outdoor adventure with stories that inform and entertain.
Full episodes of THIS AMERICAN LAND can be viewed here.
THIS AMERICAN LAND AND SCIENCE NATION We are proud to partner with the National Science Foundation to bring our viewers exceptional reports from its SCIENCE NATION series in many of our episodes. Fast-paced and informative, each of these stories explores new scientific efforts to understand and conserve our natural resources.
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