Tourists Are Leaving a Mess at National Parks

2020/07/28 21:44

Today's Vocabulary

1.pent-up (adj)
(of feelings) not expresses or released


2. besieged (v)
to surround
a place, especially with an army, to prevent people or supplies getting in or out

3. mess (n)
a situation
that is full of problems

4.pandemic (n) 
a dangerous disease
that infects  many people at one time


5.graffiti (n)
words or drawings especially humorous, rude, or political, on walls, doors, etc. in public places


6. littered (v)
to spread across an area or place untidily


Tourists Are Leaving a Mess at National Parks

Four months of pent-up demand has led to more Americans getting out of the house, especially drive trips and local visits.With 419 different places covering 84 million acres across the country, that makes heading to a National Park a natural.

What isn’t natural is the mess that people are leaving behind.According to a story in Time Magazine, America’s national parks are being besieged by trash and graffiti, among other things.

“I can’t tell you how much pee and feces were littered along the trail,” Mora said. “It’s disgusting.”

It’s not the only place. And it’s not just trash.Many visitors are not wearing face masks nor practicing social distancing.

“A lot of tourists who come through here, they think it’s unfair that we’re trying to have a lockdown and that we’re trying to keep outsiders out,” Alberta Henry, a member of Navajo Nation who operates a camping rental business outside the Grand Canyon, told Time.

Time noted that in 2019, the National Park Service tallied 327 million visits—9 million more than the previous year, and the third-highest total since record-keeping began in 1904. Certainly, 2020 won’t be as high as that, given that national parks shut down for the better part of two months in March and April due to the pandemic. But more and more people who have never been to a national park are venturing out, and are unfamiliar with park protocol, at best. At worst, they just don’t care.

Wendy Koenig, the mayor of Estes Park, Colo.—“It’s really in the hands of the visitors. If they will cooperate and wear their masks, they can keep all of us safe and keep their vacation destinations open.”


  1. What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘park’? 
  2. What is your favorite park and why?
  3. What are the national parks like in your country?

"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."