Alabama’s Natural Treasures Are Now Available For Viewing Online

In a partnership between the National Park Service and Google, it’s become easier to visit Alabama’s parks and historical sites right from your computer.

More than 3,800 artworks and artifacts from parks across the country are being added to Google’s database of online imagery and Google Street View.

Interior Secretary Dally Jewell announced the partnership at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, the training site for the first black U.S. military pilots of WWII. It is featured on the Google Cultural Institute, an online museum.

One goal for the project, said Jewell, is to attract and encourage more people to visit national parks — a feat that should not be too difficult, especially as 77% of Americans view outdoor recreation as an important part of their lives.

Artifacts from sites such as the Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Russell Cave National Monument, Selma to Montgomery National Historic trail, and the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site will be available for viewing on the “Collections from Alabama National Parks” page.

Malika Saada Saar, Google’s Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights said, “The magic of technology is that it allows us to fold space and time to bring people together with places, experiences, artifacts, and each other in ways that before were impossible.”

Fourth graders joined Jewell on Thursday at Tuskegee, where they participated in a virtual reality flight simulation activity and learned about the Tuskegee Airmen’s contribution to the nation and war effort.

They also received an Every Kid in a Park pass — part of the Obama Administration’s effort to connect young people to the outdoors by providing fourth graders nationwide free entry to visit more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters with their families.