A new exhibit at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery is shining a spotlight on the often overlooked national parks across the U.S.
“Beyond the Icons: America’s Lesser-Known National Parks” features over two dozen prints with stories by Sandra Ramos.
Ramos, known as the “National Park Patch Lady” on social media, told the National Park Service that the goal of the exhibit was to “educate and engage audiences” about the importance of these parks that are in the shadows of “much larger parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon.”
The exhibit is the culmination of Ramos’ seven-year journey that started at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, which “ignited my passion for history, obscure trivia and the search for joy and groundedness.”
One national park visit turned to two. Two turned to three… and before she knew it, Ramos had seen 185 of the 419 national parks across the U.S.
On her Instagram page, Ramos posted a lengthy message thanking those who made the exhibit possible:
For the past seven years, I’ve roadtripped around our beautiful country, experiencing and photographing the good, bad, and ugly of our history through our National Parks.
Six years ago, I set a goal to share these photographs and stories in a National Park exhibit to inspire others to seek out and experience these public lands for themselves.
Yesterday, I tearfully hung my first exhibit at Biscayne National Park, which has become a sort of home-away-from-home, with the assistance of my dear friend who made this possible, Ranger Gary.
I could not have done this without the support of my friends, as well as Fort Worth Camera – who brought this reality to life.
Thank you. Thank you.
The 25 prints and stories of the “America’s Lesser-Known National Parks” exhibit include the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park and Big Bend National Park, just to name a few.
The opening of the exhibit, Aug. 25, actually coincided with the 103rd birthday of the National Park Service, making it all the more special.
The “Beyond the Icons” series is part of the Biscayne National Park’s Community Artists Program that, since 1997, has been showcasing the works of artists inspired by the Florida park.
The inspirational works from “Beyond the Icons: America’s Lesser-Known National Parks” will be on display until Nov. 19, 2019.
For more details, visit the Biscayne National Park website or contact Park Ranger Gary Bremen at 305-338-6584.
Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.