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Preview of Ken Burns Film About Parks Screening Thursday

March 2, 2009 — A preview of the new Ken Burns film, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," will air Thursday at the Westin Resort and Villa's Coral Bay Room, located across from the ballroom.
The preview, sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association and Friends of V.I. National Park, will begin at 6 p.m. A discussion will follow.
"I've seen the clip and it's spectacular," said Conservation Association Regional Director Joe Adornato.
The entire film will air in September in six parts on public television station WTJX.
The preview shows the "majestic beauty" and the history of the country's national parks.
Adornato couldn't recall whether the coral-reef piece in the preview came from the St. John park. However, he said that the film itself does have a segment on St. John's national park.
Locally, WTJX will film documentaries about the territory's national parks to air around the same time as the Burns film.
"Preserving our heritage — it's telling our story," said WTJX spokeswoman Yvette deLaubanque.
Burns is an acclaimed filmmaker whose credits include "The Civil War," "Lewis and Clark," and "The War." It took him six years to make the new film. According to the PBS website, the film traces the birth of the national park system in the mid 1800s. Using archival photographs and first-person accounts, it weaves a story of the national park system.
There are 391 units of the national park system. The number includes 58 national parks and 333 national monuments, historic sites and other units. Every state but Delaware has a national park.
In addition to the national park on St. John, the island is also home to Coral Reef National Monument. St. Croix has Buck Island Reef National Monument, Christiansted National Historic Site and Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.
Other territories also have national park facilities. They are on Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.
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