Attendance at national parks on the rise

ATLANTA — National parks are the place to be, according to recent statistics.

During the first half of 2009, national parks saw an increase of roughly 4.5 million visits when compared to the same time period in 2008. In June, the number of visits to national parks increased by more than 718,000 when compared to 2008.

“America’s national parks and public lands provide affordable and accessible recreational opportunities from coast to coast,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a news release. “It is great to see so many Americans … take advantage of the incredible natural, cultural, and historic resources that we have here at home. Especially when times are tough, our parks and public lands refuel the spirit and help energize local economies.”

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