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If however you are describing a service which serves national parks, no.
English is one of the world’s more confusing languages. If you are wondering whether to capitalize the term “national park,” the short answer is that talking about national parks as a group, the term will generally not be capitalized.
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Read on to get the lowdown on the English rules that govern the capitalization of proper and common nouns and how this pertains to the term “national park.”
Once you understand the rules regarding noun capitalization, you can use them for any noun in the English language!
While native speakers naturally learn many of the pricklier rules of grammar, usage, and spelling, there are still many gray areas that can trip up new English learners and first-language speakers alike.
Consider, for example, the use of irregular plurals, such as mouse and mice. Rules like these can be frustrating, to say the least. English conventions regarding capitalization can be equally difficult to memorize.
Read on for a quick overview of the capitalization rules that affect the term “national park” and when it does and does not need to be capitalized.
EXAMPLES OF CAPITALIZATION RULES FOR “NATIONAL PARKS”
Similarly, the term “national park” is capitalized in cases where it is part of an official title or the name of a specific park. Here are two examples of sentences to demonstrate this. “We want to see all the national parks, starting with Yellowstone.”
Contrast that with the following sentence. “The first stop on our road trip is going to be Yellowstone National Park.” In the first sentence, “national parks” is a common noun, referring to the general group that includes all national parks, so it is not capitalized.
In the second sentence, “national park” is a part of the full name of a specific national park – Yellowstone – which is a proper noun.
However, you should note that names of specific national parks are not the only circumstances in which the term “national parks” could be capitalized.
Another example would be in the case of specific organizations or job titles. The U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees national parks, capitalizes the names of the park departments on its own website.
National Park Service, for example, is a proper noun because it is referring to a specific, discrete agency. In contrast, a reference to “national park services” as a general set of amenities at parks would not be capitalized.
National park rangers is another example of a common noun, and as such, does not require capitalization.
The above may seem like a great deal of information. While it’s important to understand the rules that govern capitalization, the question of whether or not to capitalize the term “national park” can really be boiled down to a few simple considerations.
First, is “national park” referring to the entire group (or any, non-specific member of that group) of parks? If so, it is a common noun and should not be capitalized.
If, however, “national park” is being used as part of the full name of a specific park, organization, or title, it is a proper noun and should be capitalized. These same rules can be applied to other nouns as well.