Last night was the opening segment on PBS of Ken Burns's six-night celebration of our national parks -- America's Best Idea. Beginning with the spectacular opening quote from John Muir superimposed over some of the most gorgeous outdoor images ever shown on television, it was a heart-stopping and inspirational two hours.
Given the phenomenal job that PBS, Burns, and organizations like the Sierra Club have done in getting the word out about this series, my guess is that it might capture the largest PBS audience ever -- and the benefits of having as many as 10 million Americans spend an entire week deeply immersed in our natural treasures is tremendously exciting.
The Sierra Club is devoting this entire week to helping use America's Best Idea to build a new generation of activists for the national parks -- we're seeking to build an army of 100,000 champions to help us ensure that the legacy of our National Park System is not only preserved but also prepared to meet new challenges from climate change and global warming.
So watch, enjoy, and sign up. A cousin in Chicago sent me an email last night saying, "We own this magnificence in common ... I love it. A burst of pride here in Chicago." I think you'll share his sentiment.
Follow Carl Pope on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CarlPope