Clear the Air
Many park visitors are unaware of Shenandoah’s serious air pollution problems—until a hiking alert is issued on a “bad air” day. Emissions from east coast and midwest power plants and industries blow into the park and settle on the land and water. The pollution is affecting air quality, visibility, native fish and vegetation. It also can jeopardize the health of some park visitors.
Shenandoah National Park scientists study the park’s air quality from a monitoring station at Big Meadows. The station is visible from a series of trails and roads, yet it remains a mystery to most visitors. With a grant from Shenandoah National Park Trust, the park will design an interpretive display for the monitoring station to educate visitors on the equipment used, the pollutants they detect, what it all means for the health of Shenandoah National Park and what park visitors can do to help clear Shenandoah’s air. The project will also feature a new, interactive exhibit in the nearby Byrd Visitor Center.