America’s National Parks: Upkeep Required

Episode 4

In this episode

America’s National Park System spans more than 400 sites and received more than 331 million visits in 2016. Supported by a complex infrastructure—including roads, sewer systems, buildings, restrooms, and trails—the park system is beginning its second century in need of rejuvenation. In this episode of “After the Fact,” host Dan LeDuc discusses the $11.9 billion backlog of park maintenance with Marcia Argust, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ campaign to restore America’s parks. He also speaks with Phil Francis, a retired Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent who spent 40 years with the National Park Service (NPS); and Bryan Atchley, the mayor of Sevierville, Tennessee, a gateway community to the Great Smoky Mountains. To listen and to learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact. (Sounds of nature recorded by the NPS’ Jennifer Jerrett and Montana State University’s Acoustic Atlas.)

Related Pew Research

Download the transcript

Warner-Portman Bill Seeks to Fix Our National Parks

National Parks Deteriorating—It’s Time to Show Some Love

7 Popular National Park Sites Struggle With Deferred Maintenance

1,800 Call on Congress to Fix Our Parks

Why America's National Parks Need Help

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Latest Episodes

After the Fact

National Homeownership Month

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.