Editor. Note: Artist Fitz Maurice has set out to paint live at all of the US National Parks. She will be submitting her stories from the road to StuNewsLaguna from time to time. 

It is Thanksgiving time and I want to give thanks to the National Park Service!

P1070571 (1)  By FITZ MAURICE

While on the QUEST these past four years I have visited more than 20 National Parks and I am always impressed with how clean, organized and well run the parks are. The directional and informative signs are properly placed, and yet discreet. The hiking paths are clearly marked and maintained through all weather.

I feel proud to be an American when I am walking around our National Parks, especially when I hear other visitors speaking in foreign languages and realize that they have traveled really far to get here. How they must be awestruck by the rare and monumental beauty! So few countries have open landscapes that the public can enjoy. How these visitors must admire the freedom with which they get to enjoy our American National Parks.

Our National Parks are the best branch of peace that America extends to the world!

The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Mt. Rainier National Park Visitor’s Centers are stunning! It is wonderful to walk into these impressive public centers that are so grand in the way they remain architecturally connected to the vast nature just outside their doors.

To apprise myself with the major attractions of each particular park, I have learned to take advantage of the free movie that provides a perfect overview.  Often the visitor centers also have bookstores that are filled with maps, guides, educational books and children’s toys that help them relate to nature in very fun ways.

The parks are perfectly run by an invisible crew, leaving you on your own to delight in the mystery of it all. The parks offer you an exceptional way to safely indulge in the deep wonders of nature, while providing the information you are excited to learn. Our National Park Service lets everyone enjoy the rawness and peace – so perfectly preserved – while encouraging all to be respectful of the fragility of nature’s ecosystem.

Best of all are the National Park Rangers! Every one of them that I have met has been gracious, knowledgeable, and happy to answer my burning questions. They are ready to tell you where you can find the best sunset hike or which trail leads to the lake. Naturally, they update you on weather conditions as well as a celestial phenomenon that is likely to occur. Usually, Rangers lead tours through their visitor center/museum and often give guided tours on the trail.

By the way, on August 25, 2016, the National Park Service will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary !

FITZ Maurice has been on a QUEST to paint ‘live’ in every National Park in America for four years. Now totally committed to help promote and protect the Parks, the artist is traveling by truck and trailer to each park. Hiking, kayaking and horseback riding in search of the ultimate scene, and finally setting up with portable easel and oil paints, FITZ sets out to capture in paint the wonders that make each National Park a treasure to Americans and all the people of the world.    

 To see her National Park Paintings: