HAPPY 97TH BIRTHDAY TO NPS!

On Sunday August 25th, the National Park Service turns 97 years old! Through nearly a century of protection and care for these special places, the National Park Service has made it possible for visitors to access unparalleled natural beauty, rich history, and endless enjoyment.

Check out www.npsbirthday.org to find exciting birthday events and activities happening in parks near you. You can also show your appreciation by signing the birthday card to the parks and the rangers who protect them. 

NEW THIS MONTH
Double Your Impact Our Nation's Largest Outdoor Classroom Win a National Park Vacation!

Double Your Impact

This month, Travel Channel has partnered with NPF to match donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $30,000! Thanks to Travel Channel’s generosity, your support will go TWICE as far to enrich, protect and support America’s treasures – our national parks.  As the summer winds down, it is the PERFECT time to visit, explore and make a difference for these special places.  And even if you can’t get to a park this month, you can still experience their majesty on Founders Day, Sunday, August 25th @ 1p, as Travel Channel transports viewers into some of America's most spectacular national parks.

Our Nation's Largest Outdoor Classroom

Not all learning happens inside the walls of a school. Hundreds of thousands of students and teachers learn underneath the skies of our country’s largest outdoor classroom: the national parks. From civics and history to physics and environmental education to writing and the arts, national parks have much to offer to students and educators alike. The National Park Foundation is proud to support NPS through its education initiatives such as Jr. Ranger programs taking place across the country as well as citizen science programs in places like Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area and so many more.

Our own education programs allow NPS education and interpretative rangers to think outside the box to engage learners in a variety of ways.

In California, a Parks Climate Challenge grant allowed Golden Gate National Recreation Area to partner with NatureBridge, a leader in environmental education, to connect the specific effects of climate change on the ecosystems of the Marin Headlands to teachers from around the Bay Area. Evaluation showed that teachers had increased confidence teaching climate change science and that students believed that they could make a difference and were more motivated to do so.

As part of the Park Stewards program, students from Utah conducted research on the chemical, ecological, economical and physical impacts of a future mussel infestation at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. They also participated in field trips for water sampling to discuss water quality that included a trip to the parks Water Quality lab, and a trip to see where visitors’ boats are inspected and decontaminated before being launched in Lake Powell to prevent the spread of invasive mussels.

To find out how you can support programs that help protect our country’s special places, click here

Win a National Park Vacation!

There’s still time to enter the NPF Summer Scrapbook! Park fans have already submitted thousands of spectacular photos, videos, and travel tips. Submit your content by September 8th for your chance to win a dream national park adventure!

All participants who submit to the Summer Scrapbook (or vote) have a chance to win national park adventures to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon! But that’s not all – winners in each category will receive awesome national park prize packs filled with hiking and camping equipment, NPF gear, a national parks pass and so much more! 

Join the fun and help us showcase the best of our national parks today at nationalparks.org/summer!

NEWS, NOTES & UPDATES

Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

The African American Experience Fund (AAEF) welcomes more than 300 youth to Washington, D.C. next week to participate in the March on Washington Memorial Youth Mentoring Summit and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights 1963 March on Washington on August 28 with the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Partnering with the National Park Service and the National Alliance of Faith and Justice, AAEF will provide students with hands-on learning experiences about America’s Civil Rights Movement with the goal of inspiring future youth leaders and park stewards.

AAEF thanks the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Office of Justice Programs of the U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for their generous support of the Summit.

Expedition of a Lifetime

This summer, a dedicated group of National Park Foundation Stewardship Circle supporters had a rare opportunity to experience one of America’s most majestic parks during NPF’s Grand Canyon Expedition – and to see first-hand how philanthropy supports preservation and education at parks.

Although formed over millions of years by shifting tectonic plates, Grand Canyon National Park was only “recently” established in 1919. Each year the park welcomes some five million visitors – yet only one-half of one percent have the chance to see the canyon “below the rim” by floating the Colorado River. During six days, 18 NPF donors and friends rafted through the canyon, stopping along the way for hikes, waterfalls, breathtaking views, and star-covered camp sites. Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga greeted the group during a welcome reception and National Park Service staff accompanied the trip to further explain the history of the rugged canyon and its hardy vegetation and wildlife. Every person leaves with special memories of the Grand Canyon and the icy rapids of the Colorado River, as well as a deeper personal connection to America’s national parks. 

Are you interested in exploring a national park with the National Park Foundation?  Expeditions are organized and carried out by the NPF team, and content experts from the National Park Service join to offer unparalleled insight into the parks. For more information about NPF expeditions, click here.

Flight 93 National Memorial Inspires

Summer crowds are coming to the Flight 93 National Memorial, showing that the incredible story of courage displayed by the men and women of Flight 93 continues to inspire thousands of visitors from around the world.

It has also been a busy summer for Flight 93 partners preparing for the next phase of the memorial. Thanks to thousands of supporters of the National Park Foundation, more than $12 million in private donations will be used to resume construction of the Flight 93 National Memorial just as the nation once again remembers these forty heroes on September 11. 

With each passing year, more and more visitors are young people who are less familiar with the events of September 11. Therefore, a new on-site visitor center and learning center, central features in the next phase of construction, will be the focal point of broad educational programming about Flight 93 by the National Park Service with support from the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial. These facilities are expected to open in summer of 2015.  Throughout this period, the memorial will remain open and welcoming to visitors.

Support is still needed for the Flight 93 National Memorial. To make a donation of $40, $93, or another amount, click here. And stay tuned for some exciting announcements about Flight 93 this fall!

Don't Miss the @American_Latino Expedition Adventure!

We’re having so much fun with the 2013 @American_Latino Expedition! If you’re not up-to-date on what’s going on, you have to read the Expedition blog and get caught up! So far, the Condes Campers had a blast exploring Mesa Verde National Park and the Latina BlogStars can’t stop talking about their incredible experiences in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Up next – Travelistas in Nature are headed to Olympic National Park next week! All of the bloggers are learning and sharing so much about park stewardship, outdoor recreation, and historic American Latino contributions at each park site.

In case you’re not familiar with the Expedition, the American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) of the National Park Foundation partnered with ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and REI to launch this summertime adventure to engage diverse audiences to visit, explore and enjoy America’s national parks. While America’s more than 400 national parks welcome millions of visitors annually, multicultural communities and those who live in urban centers are vastly underrepresented.

Come along and join us for the final 2013 @American_Latino Expedition trip! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ALEx13 and be sure to check out the ALHF website for blog updates from the road!

Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Whether weeding the determined ginger plant - a pretty but determined invasive - or celebrating the success of 43 Youth Ranger Interns, the Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park can be found in all corners of this magnificent national park on the Big Island, Hawai'i. The Friends generously share their own expertise on and passion for the volcano, plants, culture and history of Hawai'i through monthly Institutes where local community members and visitors from across the world can further explore the unique offerings of the park. As active stewards who support the park, the Friends are partnering with local groups to better steward the unique environmental resources and increasingly share the cultural history and importance of the park. 

Follow park happenings - including lava news! -- help the Friends get to 2,000 fans on Facebook.

Make your next national park adventure better than ever! Download our NEW national park Owner's Guide, The Places Nobody Knows, today!

National Park Foundation
National Park Service
Flight 93 National Memorial
AAEF
ALHF

Name the national park that has an underground river and over 400 miles of explored and mapped underground passages.

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Mike Amery, from Montgomery Village, MD, who knew that outdoor scenes of the television series M*A*S*H were filmed in Santa Monica Mountains NRA.

Way to go Mike!

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