New National Park has Been Proposed for Southeast Minnesota
I found out over the weekend that there's a proposal for a new national park in Minnesota. Right now we only have one, Voyageurs National Park, but that could change! And this proposed national park would be in southeast Minnesota.
What Makes a Park a 'National Park'?
Britannica defines a national park as "an area set aside by a national government for the preservation of the natural environment."
A national park may be set aside for public recreation and enjoyment or for its historical or scientific interest while keeping most landscapes and their accompanying plants and animals in their natural state.
How Many National Parks Are There?
There's a total of 63 national parks in the US and most of them are on the west coast. And there are just a few in the Midwest. We've got:
Theodore Roosevelt National Park - North Dakota
Badlands National Park - South Dakota
Wind Cave National Park - South Dakota
Voyageurs National Park - Minnseota
Isle Royale National Park - Michigan
Gateway Arch National Park - Missouri
Indiana Dunes National Park - Indiana
Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Ohio
Here's a map of all of our national parks, thanks to EarthTrekkers.com, and you'll see just how skewed it is to the west.
Proposed National Park in Southeast Minnesota
If this proposed national park actually happens, that would actually cover a good chunk of the Midwest.
The proposed park would be called Driftless National Park and not only would it cover part of southeast Minnesota but also part of northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin, and northwest Illinois. It's a huge chunk!
CORRECTION FROM THE INITIATIVE'S ORGANIZER: He reached out to me and corrected my above statement. The area circled in blue is the area that he is proposing is turned into a national park. The red outline is the entirety of the Driftless Region. Thanks, Sean, for clarifying!
I'll be nerdy for a second here, I think it's really interesting why it's called the driftless area. On the proposals website (where you can go to sign the petition if you'd like) it says that the Driftless Region "was not covered by ice during the last ice age, which resulted in the absence of the usual glacial deposits known as 'drift'."
The proposers want the area to be preserved for future generations to enjoy, to save threatened species that can only be found in this area, and it would also bring money to the southeast Minnesota area.