With July 4th fast approaching, many Americans are hitting the road and visiting one of more than 400 parks in the National Park Service – something country star Doreen Taylor heartily encourages.
“I’ve always been a huge patriot. I believe in America and preserving what we have here,” Taylor told FOX411. “As kids, we would pile in the car with our family and drive across the country. I remember one summer, we drove all the way from Buffalo, New York to the Grand Tetons. Looking back, it was the most amazing experience.”
Inspired, Taylor wrote a song and created a video to celebrate the National Park Service, “Colors of the U.S.A.”
“I am so overwhelmed by what we have here, and I feel like we’re squandering it,” Taylor explained. “I feel like the children of today aren’t really appreciating it like I did. They are (experiencing life) from a computer screen or an app on their phone – and I feel like that’s not giving you the same bang for your buck, like it was when I was when I stood in front of Yosemite or the Lower Falls in Yellowstone – feeling that massive, amazing feeling."
Sales of “Colors of the U.S.A.," will benefit the National Park Conservation Association (NPCA). For every download of the song, 50% of the proceeds will go to the organization, whose mission is “to protect and enhance America's National Parks for present and future generations.”
“A lot of the problems the National Parks are facing are continuing problems,” said Taylor. “Unfortunately, with budget cuts, (funding for) the parks were the first thing to go. I hate that our government feels that they are the most expendable. It’s like, ‘Oh, who cares? They’re not going to be missed.’ Or, they do it deliberately because they know that people will get angry and it’s a way to jolt people and say, ‘Hey–wake up!’ to get their agenda across. So, I really feel like the parks are used as a bargaining chip.”
The closure of the National Park System in October 2013 by the federal government due to the congressional impasse over the Affordable Care Act particularly irked Taylor. “There were people who had planned weddings and family vacations and huge things around these gates, and then, all of a sudden they’re not able to go in? These are America’s parks – the public owns them – but you’re not allowed to go in, and that’s really hard to come back from.”
Taylor cites the NPCA as being a godsend to preserving America’s national treasure. “They’re not a government organization–they’re bipartisan, they’re independent and they make sure to protect the parks and I love that."
The native (upstate) New Yorker is taking a break from touring this summer, but is staying busy. “I want to get back in the studio,” Taylor declared. "I’m going to be in the studio, writing my follow-up album to ‘Magic’ very soon. The beauty of what I do is that I never know what tomorrow brings. Every day, I get a weird call or something, ‘Can you do this?’ I have a path, but it always seems like my path meandering in different ways and it’s amazing. I love my life right now–I can really say that I love what I do.”
Taylor is also single – and looking. “I really want someone who is also independent. I don’t want to have to do everything,” she explained. “I want someone who can hold a conversation and who’s well-versed in a lot of different topics. I like dark and brooding!"