… and no, not the built-in photo-dissolving technique in iMovie … but rather, the positive effect Ken Burns’ documentary series has already been having on attention paid toward the National Park System — and I’m not just talking about all my Twitter friends finally coming to realize how awesome John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt were.

Recently, the independent bipartisan National Parks Second Century Commission released its report on the future of the National Park System, shining a spotlight on two of the parks’ biggest problems – lack of funding and lack of interest from kids. The report calls for a much needed investment of $700 million over the next seven years, as well as a new emphasis on getting the next generation of Americans excited to be outside — after their survey revealed a full 30% of American kids do not engage in any kind of outdoor activity (and what’s our obesity rate again? 31% and rising).

According to Backpacker.com, the Parks just might finally have a few friends in the Obama administration. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is on board with getting more kids involved with their local parks, and President Obama has already sent a recommendation for an additional $100 million in the Parks’ operating budget for this fiscal year.

Maybe things are looking good for that San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area after all …

read the full report at the National Parks Second Century Commission.

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