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Man honored after visiting all 59 national parks

  • COURTESY JANICE WEI / NPS

    It took more than 60 years, but Dave Parker completed his journey when he entered Volcanoes National Park on Tuesday night.

A 77-year-old Virginia man was recognized at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last week for visiting all 59 national parks.

It took more than 60 years, but Dave Parker completed his journey when he entered Volcanoes National Park on Tuesday night.

“It’s just spectacular to see,” he said of Kilauea’s eruption in a statement.

Parker first entered a national park at age 14 when his parents took him to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Wyoming.

On Wednesday, Volcanoes National Park Chief Ranger John Broward presented Parker with a “59ers” certificate of achievement signed by National Park Service Acting Director Mike Reynolds.

“Park visitors help steward our public lands, and by appreciating them, they protect them,” Broward said in the statement.

Parker, a McLean, Va., resident, visited the Hawaii island park with his wife and friends. Before retiring, he worked for the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., promoting travel to the U.S.

“There are many ways to support your parks,” Parker said. “All parks have organizations that support them that you can donate to. You can volunteer and give back with your time. It’s an important investment to make for the survival of public lands and our future generations.”

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