A national park is an area where nature is protected. People should not use the area too much. This can be a large forest, a huge area, or even a piece of the sea. In this way, they want to ensure that this area will look the same later on as it does now.
As early as around 1800, some people were thinking about how to preserve nature. In the Romantic period, they saw that industry, for example, makes a lot of dirt. The first national park has existed since 1864. It was set up in the USA, where Yosemite National Park is today.
Later, such areas were set up elsewhere. However, they often have different names and the rules are different. There are nature reserves in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Some are actually called national parks. Some are even UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so they are considered natural monuments that are important for the whole world.
In the national park, animals and plants should not be disturbed by people. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to live there at all. Lots of people vacation there.
The national park sometimes has to be protected from animals and plants, namely from those who get there from outside. Otherwise, these newly immigrated animals and plants could displace the local ones. A national park is there so that animals and plants survive that do not exist elsewhere.