One year after its dedication, the Flight 93 National Memorial welcomed thousands of visitors for the eleventh annual observance of September 11, 2001. Vice President Joe Biden, joined by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, attended the service and offered brief remarks. Afterwards, they placed a wreath at the Wall of Names accompanied by the President of the Families of Flight 93, Patrick White.

A moment of silence was held at 10:03 a.m., the exact moment that Flight 93 crashed into a rural field in Shanskville, Pennsylvania.  Relatives of the forty passengers and crewmembers solemnly read the names of their loved ones as a pair of Bells of Remembrance tolled in the background.

The traditional service culminated four days of public programming at the memorial.  Investigators, journalists, and U.S. Capitol representatives led panel discussions with the public in a program called “Learning Center Without Walls.”  Forty candle luminarias were placed at the Wall of Names, and the memorial’s lights were illuminated each evening.

The commemorative activities also reminded of the need for continued private funding to complete the memorial.  Through a partnership between the Alcoa Foundation and the National Park Foundation, Alcoa is matching donations to the memorial up to $255,000 through October 1.  The Alcoa Foundation has committed its funds to support planting 150,000 trees as reforestation effort and part of Alcoa’s Ten Million Tree Campaign. 

Show your support for the Flight 93 National Memorial, and have your gift generously matched by the Alcoa Foundation, by clicking here.
Families get Active in the
Great Smokies
Check Out Trail Talk Today! Disney Connects Kids to Parks

Families get Active in the Great Smokies

This summer more than 600 families participated in two newly expanded programs at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “Hike the Smokies” and “Adopt a Trail-For Families”, made possible through funding from the National Park Foundation’s Active Trails program, provides families an opportunity to hike the myriad of 850 miles of park trails, learn new skills, assist in trail stewardship, and record their results for fun and recreation. In part, these two programs highlight the park’s shorter, less strenuous trails as a way to encourage first time visitors and also, make the park more kid-friendly promoting not only recreation and park stewardship, but also family bonding and enjoyment of the great outdoors. Families are encouraged to return to the Great Smokies through incentives such as special stickers, lapel pins, t-shirts, water bottles, and educational booklets.

To find out how you can support programs like these, click here.

Check out NPF's Blog, Trail Talk Today!

Ever wonder about the best hikes, sites and activities in America's national parks? Are you unsure about where to plan your next park adventure or what you should pack? NPF's blog, Trail Talk, is a great place to find all the answers!

Looking for a great way to spend the day, check out this post on Golden Gate National Recreation Area, chock full of insider tips. Virtually experience the unique and unspoiled wilderness of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords. Or learn about special activities and celebrations in the parks like Get Outdoors Day and Founders Day, where park entry is FREE for everyone!

Needless to say, we think Trail Talk is an amazing way for park lovers to share information from their adventures and learn about the endless possibilities within these treasured places. The best part is—like the nearly 400 national park sites—this blog is YOURS! We invite each of you to write about your experiences, share your tips and stories so that others can follow along. If you’re interested in joining the fun, submit your post to blog@nationalparks.org.

Disney Connects Kids to Parks

Through generous support of the Foundation's Ticket to Ride and America's Best Idea programs, Disney is making a difference in connecting kids to nature by getting them actively engaged to take environmental action and enjoy America's amazing outdoor spaces. This Fall, through Ticket to Ride grants, 30,000 school children will experience their local national parks, many for the first time.  Beginning September 28, Disney is offering another way to engage America's youth by teaming up with Friends for Change Ambassadors Ross Lynch & Laura Marano from Disney Channel series, Austin & Ally, to inspire youth to take action and "Green their Scene." By visiting www.disney.com/friends, kids will be encouraged to help the planet by pledging for efforts such as planting trees and gardens, voting for projects that Disney will help fund and downloading the Action kit which provides simple tips to help kids green their local communities.  Kids can also learn how Ross and Laura teamed up to connect kids to nature by greening school campuses across Los Angeles, positively impacting nearly 10,000 kids!


Visit the Parks for Free on Public Lands Day

September 29 is National Public Lands Day and national parks from coast to coast will be offering FREE admission to all visitors. To encourage everyone to take advantage of this great opportunity to experience America's national treasures, the National Park Foundation, Travel Channel, and Zipcar have teamed up to make park adventures easy and accessible. Check out TravelChannel.com for national park information, travel guides and slideshows on national parks in the Washington, DC/Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco regions and park lovers everywhere can take advantage of National Public Lands Day by joining Zipcar and receiving $50 dollars in Driving Credit use promo code: TRAVELPARKS.

Great Ways to Support America's National Parks this Fall

Test Drive a Toyota – Visit one of Toyota’s Drive Center events, take a car for a spin, select NPF as your charity of choice and Toyota will make a donation to the National Park Foundation on your behalf during its Drive for a Cause campaign.  To find events near you, click here.

Claim an Inch of the Earth – Cherish your favorite places on earth by purchasing them virtually via MyInchOfTheEarth.com.  75% of each inch purchased in a national park unit goes to NPF and you can select NPF as the beneficiary of inches purchased outside national parks as well. Visit www.MyInchOfTheEarth.com.

Canvas for a Cause – Turn your memories into a masterpiece with Easy Canvas Prints! Place custom canvas print orders via EasyCanvasPrints.com/NPF and they'll donate 25% of revenue to the National Park Foundation! PLUS, you'll get 25% off your order and free standard shipping!

Tour a National Park – Are you dreaming about an enjoyable (and hassle-free) vacation through a spectacular national park?  Our partner, Globus, can make your travel dreams come true in 2013 with 18 NEW GoParks! Tours, to 20 different national parks.  When you book a tour, Globus will make a donation to NPF! For more information, click here.

Support the Friends of Arches & Canyonlands

Internationally renowned for its otherworldly beauty, Southeastern Utah boasts four incredible national parks and monuments—Arches, Canyonlands, Hovenweep and Natural Bridges—and one terrific park partner supports them all, the Friends of Arches & Canyonlands Parks. The Friends of Arches & Canyonlands celebrates an incredible landscape, including gravity-defying arches, red rock canyons, snaking rivers with mild to wild rapids, and thousands of cultural and historic resources left behind from ancient Indians, known as the Anasazi and old west cowboys. These treasures motivated Bates Wilson – the former Superintendent of Arches and lead advocate for the creation of Canyonlands National Park – who in turn inspired the Friends and their commitment to stewardship, community engagement and the visitor experience.  Though their new Friends Group, the Friends have a strong volunteer "Site Stewardship Program" and “Locals to the Park” initiative for regional residents.  The Friends look forward to celebrating Canyonlands 50th anniversary in 2014 with the publication of a book about Bates Wilson. 

Help the Friends reach 500 fans on Facebook. Visit their website to learn more about the legacy of Bates Wilson.

Picture Perfect!

Have some great national park photos from your summer and fall adventures? Enter them in the 2012 Share the Experience photo contest! The annual contest, sponsored by the National Park Foundation and Active Network with support from our media partner, Destination America, is the largest national park and public land photo contest for amateur photographers.

This year, in addition to a new look and feel, there are even more opportunities to win! The three top winners will be awarded CASH prizes and the grand prize winner will have their photo showcased on the 2014 Annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass! Winners in other categories, such as Fan Favorite, Wildlife or Adventure, will receive hotel stays from Historic Hotels of America. In addition, weekly winners will be selected.

Don't miss out, enter your photos today!

BioBlitz in Rocky Mountain National Park

On August 24 and 25, to celebrate the National Park Service's 96th anniversary, the Foundation hosted an interactive booth at the 6th annual BioBlitz at Rocky Mountain National Park.  Each year, the BioBlitz is held at a different national park offering kids of all ages the chance to learn about the environment and have a lot of fun!  Hundreds of scientists, students, teachers, and volunteers gathered to participate in this event, a two-day celebration of biodiversity focused on a 24-hour discovery of species. Teams of experts and volunteers explored the park's majestic mountains, meadows, lakes, streams, forests and tundra making as many personal species discoveries as possible.


Want ideas for an unforgettable family adventure this National Public Lands Day? Download your FREE copy of Parks for Play: 35 National Park Adventures for Kids of All Ages today!

National Park Foundation
National Park Service
Flight 93 National Memorial
This Is Your Land

Built 170 years ago, what frontier outpost – now a national park – was an important supply depot for Union troops and a military prison holding Confederate soldiers during the Civil War?

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Lucy Landon, from Snohomish, WA who knew that FDR established Pipestone National Monument during the Great Depression on Founders Day in 1937.

Way to go Lucy!

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to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us - This Is Your Land.

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