Friday, February 10, 2006

Teddy Roosevelt & the creation of parks

Game Trophies of Teddy Roosevelt
On display at Bull Run Regional Park

Teddy Roosevelt was our greatest conservation President. He created the National Park System, National Forests and the National Wildlife Refuge System. In all, Roosevelt is credited with conserving 230 million acres during his presidency. His passion for the land is clear in the quotes from Roosevelt below.

"In utilizing and conserving the natural resources of the Nation, the one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight.... The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life."

Address to the National Editorial Association,
Jamestown, Virginia, June 10, 1907

"...All the great natural resources which are vital to the welfare of the whole people should be kept either in the hands or under the control of the whole people."

The Outlook, April 20, 1912

"Birds should be saved for utilitarian reasons; and, moreover, they should be saved because of reasons unconnected with dollars and cents. A grove of giant redwoods or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful cathedral. The extermination of the passenger-pigeon meant that mankind was just so much poorer .... And to lose the chance to see frigate-birds soaring in circles above the storm, or a file of pelicans winging their way homeward across the crimson afterglow of the sunset, or a myriad of terns flashing in the bright light of midday as they hover in a shifting maze above the beach-why, the loss is like the loss of a gzlilery of the masterpieces of the artists of old time."

A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open (1916).

TR came to conservation first as a lover of the outdoors. Roosevelt was passionate about camping, hunting, fishing and exploring. This love of nature led him to use his leadership to preserve our natural heritage. Through the creation of the National Park System, Roosevelt started the movement that has lead to all the park systems we know today.

With this legacy, it is appropriate that the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has on display at Bull Run Regional Park some of the game that Teddy Roosevelt himself bagged.

Bull Run Regional Park is the first parkland that the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority acquired in 1960. Today this park has a wonderful campground, many picnic areas, play grounds, a pool, special events center, and shooting center. This spring rustic cabins will be available to rent in the campgrounds. This park is also the trailhead for the Occoquan trail, a 17.5 mile nature trail along the Bull Run/Occoquan River.

Come to Bull Run Regional Park, see the game that Teddy Roosevelt bagged and start or energize your own journey in TR's foot steps.

[Roosevelt game trophies are on loan from the Smithsonian Institute]

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