Last update: 14 October 2012
Many National Parks and National Historic Sites have joined Twitter, and the daily outpouring of American history, alluring photos, and new discoveries at the parks near you makes for a good addition to your stream which, if it’s like mine, spends too much time stomping around in kittycat images and tech complaints.
A few of the wiser managers at the National Park Service are trying to get its rangers to tweet, and interestingly, staff interest is rising even as the budget is falling.
Far from being boring tickers about road closures and forest fire risk, many of the National Park Service streams are often tended by people who get really excited about nature and history. For example, the African Burial Ground (a delightfully active one for such a small site) might share a resource for researching your slave ancestors in Virginia or link to a database that details the machinations of the slave trade. Other feeds may be manned by rangers who can answer history questions for you.
What’s missing? Many Civil War battlefields, despite the fact we are now amidst the 150th anniversary of the war. Also, some rangers, despite being the foremost authorities on their turf, rely on volunteer organizations to do the heavy lifting; that’s the case with Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park, an otherwise good feed. Others seem to lack overseers with passion or funds: The omnibus @NPS_CivilWar account, untouched since late September 2011, is not cutting it.
In general, natural sites get more attention than historic or cultural ones. Where’s Jimmy Carter National Historic Site? Manzanar National Historic Site? Where’s the Carl Sandburg Home, Frederick Douglass’ house? Mount Rushmore, despite having four big mouths, is mute.