Find Your Park c/o Joel P. West

A Golden Gate NRA #findyourpark moment, taken by the author while working an event at the Cliff House in San Francisco. 

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve worked as an archivist and museum technician with the National Park Service (NPS) under various titles over the last ten years. This year marks the centennial of the NPS as well as my decade of service, and a fancy-schmancy marketing agency was hired ages ago to brand this milestone with the theme of “Find Your Park,” encouraging people to go forth and find a place that appeals to them–a historic presidential home, like Teddy Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill; an urban park, like the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (plug!); or a monumental nature preserve, like Yosemite. I’m very proud to work for a federal agency with great approval ratings, and I show my support by adding #findyourpark (or #fyp) to all social media content I upload from work. Because, you know, love isn’t real until you put it on the internet.

And people love national parks–including The Tree Ring mastermind Joel P. West. A few years ago, I waxed poetic about The Whitmanic Joel P. West, and, fast-forward three years later, he is still one of my very-favorite artists to watch due to his diverse yet consistent production. The man has dropped an additional The Tree Ring album since that post went live, but he’s also scored a handful of films–four in 2015 alone. I called West “Whitmanic” in 2013 because he seemed equally as inspired by nature’s reverential beauty as the poet Walt Whitman, and now he has proven me right by revealing himself to be an active Finder-Your-Parker.

“Tunnel View” is from The Tree Ring’s 2014 album Ten Rivers, and its video (featured below) was created to commemorate the NPS centennial. Accompanying this video on the band’s website is text as follows: “The parks belong to all of us and the landscapes treat everyone the same. We can all have our own experiences and memories in the parks, and they are preserved so that we can revisit and share them. You can’t buy a sunny day or a wildlife sighting, and commercial ventures are kept outside of the gates. Yosemite Valley is a place of wonder, calm, and clarity, and we’re so thankful for the people who have fought to ensure that everyone can enjoy it.”

As a public servant donning the NPS hat daily, I couldn’t have said it better. So, without further ado, may I present the inaugural 2016 Nostos Algos post: one that combines my passion and my profession; enjoy.