Barnes finds adventures in national parks


Submitted by Kendall Barnes

Junior Kendall Barnes enjoys Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas with her father and sister.

Cara Helton, Staff Writer

Since sixth grade, junior Kendall Barnes has visited 36 National Parks with her family. From Yellowstone Park to the Rocky Mountains, her family has seen an incredible amount of preserved nature. 

“Maybe it’s because of where we live, but you don’t see that in Texas or really anywhere unless you’re going to a National Park and so it kind of changes your mindset and the way you do things and so I wanted to continue seeing those images,” Barnes said.

The first park that Barnes’ family ever went to was Yellowstone National Park. At the time, 11-year-old Barnes was unenthusiastic about the park as she was more excited for the promised trip to Disneyland. However, after experiencing the gorgeous landscape and getting to see the animals that Yellowstone is filled with, National parks had Barnes hooked. 

“I remember, I already was not having fun,” Barnes said. “There was no Internet, nothing to do, no rides but I think what really sparked my love for national parks was that it was such a beautiful landscape without even trying with animals literally everywhere.”  

Her family has continued visiting as many parks as they can and have even revisited a few. Since discovering her passion for these parks, Barnes has also become more aware of the importance of preserving nature. 

“After going on that trip, I understood the importance of national park conservation,” Barnes said. “How pretty it is but also there’s so much infrastructure, so much killing of trees and breaking down habitats. We need these things for our earth to survive. Not only that, but to keep the beauties of the earth.”

Barnes is appreciative of her adventures at national [arks and the memories she’s been able to make with her parents and younger sister. Being able to visit these places has had a huge impact on how she views the world. 

“I think being able to step away from technology, being able to step away from your own world and see what it’s like to be out there, I feel like it gives you a better sense of the way things are,” Barnes said.