Giving Compass' Take:

• Jennifer Ladino at The Conversation visited and reports on seven national parks and memorials in America to see how their structures and natural landscapes inspire patriotism and other emotions.

• How can conversations of patriotism be inclusive of immigrants and others? How can donors help shift the stigma?

Here's an in-depth look and history of the Grand Canyon National Park. 

When I took a post-college job as a seasonal ranger at Grand Teton National Park 23 years ago, I noticed right away that my “Smokey Bear” hat carried some serious emotional baggage. As I later wrote in my book, “Reclaiming Nostalgia: Longing for Nature in American Literature,” park visitors saw the hat as an icon of tradition and romance, a symbol of a simpler era long gone.

For many Americans the physical grandeur of parks like Grand Teton, Yosemite and Yellowstone also inspires patriotic pride. Twenty-first-century patriotism is a touchy subject, increasingly claimed by America’s conservative right. But the national park system is designed to be democratic – protecting lands that belong to the public for all to enjoy – and politically neutral. The parks are spaces where love of country can be shared by all.

But some sites send more complex messages. In my new book, “Memorials Matter: Emotion, Environment, and Public Memory at American Historical Sites,” I explore how patriotism plays out at sites where education, not recreation, is the priority.

Read the full article about national parks by Jennifer Ladino at The Conversation.