By Rachel Chang
Apr 13, 2022
EVEN THOUGH HE’S NO LONGER in office, Barack Obama is continuing his dedication to the preservation of public lands with a new Netflix docuseries dedicated to national parks around the world.
“Around the world, the more isolated the national park, the more unusual its creatures and the more extraordinary their behaviors,” the 60-year-old former president says in the trailer. “When humanity started to protect these wild places, we did not realize how important they would become.”
The show highlights parks including Tsavo National Park in Kenya, Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia, Chilean Patagonia in Chile, and Monterey Bay in California.
“Spanning five continents, the series brims with wonder, humor, and optimism as each episode tells the story of a national park through the lives of its wildest residents—both big and exceptionally small—and explores our changing relationship with wilderness,” the official description explains.
It’s a fitting role for the president who protected more public lands and water than any other in history, including declaring national monuments to protect 1.65 million acres of land in Nevada and Utah and 87,000 acres in Maine, as well as granting all fourth graders free admission to national parks—a program that continues today.
“Join me in the celebration of our planet’s greatest national parks and wilderness,” Obama concludes in the trailer. “This is a journey through the natural wonders of our shared birthright.”
The national parks series is produced in conjunction with Freeborne Media and Higher Ground Production—the latter of which is the production company of Barack and Michelle Obama, which has a multi-year agreement with Netflix to produce films and series.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” the former president said in 2018 of the partnership. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix—we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”
Also this year, their company will be presenting a documentary “Descendant” about an Alabama community called Africatown where many residents are descendants of the enslaved who traveled from Africa to American on last illegal slave ship called the Clotilda.