Americans may not have been able to visit Yosemite National Park with President Obama and the First Family earlier this summer, but they can get a glimpse of the president's trip by watching a newly released virtual reality film of his experience.
During Obama’s Yosemite trip ahead of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday, he became the first president to ever be featured in a virtual reality film that just so happened to be all about the preservation America’s parks.
In the 11-minute, 360-degree film titled, “Through the Ages: President Obama Celebrates America’s National Parks,” viewers get to experience the park just as Obama does while he narrates. The video, produced by Facebook-owned Oculus and Felix and Paul Studios, includes six days’ worth of the First Family’s visit, Independent reported.
“We know that protecting and preserving places like Yosemite, and all of our National Parks, is more important today than ever,” he says in the film, warning of the threats climate change can have on the parks and creatures that live there. “As we look ahead, in the coming years and decades, the changing and rising temperatures mean that birds and mammals who made their home at Yosmite for thousands of years are moving to escape the heat.”
Obama recapped his Yosemite adventure in a Facebook post Thursday and said that the park was “without a doubt, one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen,” while encouraging U.S. citizens to partake in this year's centennial by exploring many of the beautiful parks in their neighborhoods and around the country. Or, he suggested, they could tune in to his time at Yosemite by watching the virtual reality video, which he said was “pretty surreal, like being transported back into the park.”
As a part of the National Park Service centennial celebration, park-goers will receive free admission into all 412 national parks Aug. 25 – Aug. 28.