The National Park Foundation Newsletter Vol.11, NO.1 NPF Logo
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Join Us As We Celebrate Black History Month

Each February, we pause to reflect upon and celebrate the vast contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history. This year, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Did you know that President Abraham Lincoln was inspired to begin writing the Emancipation Proclamation at Fort Monroe which is now a National Monument in Hampton, Virginia? Fort Monroe was the docking site of the first slave ship arriving in the English-speaking New World and is also the location where the Monroe Doctrine was conceived.

A century later, thousands of Americans marched on Washington to protest the injustice of segregation. Those gathered by the steps of the Lincoln Memorial heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech, sharing his vision of racial equality for the nation. 50 years later, we can learn about this historic moment and the movement it supported at the newly opened Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.

As the largest curator of American history, the National Park Service enhances the public’s understanding and increased awareness of our shared story. The National Park Foundation (NPF) is proud to join with NPS to preserve and protect African American history.  NPF’s African American Experience Fund  (AAEF) invites you to experience this history firsthand in the 25 national park sites dedicated to African American’s significant contributions.

We encourage you to visit, volunteer, and support these sites to ensure that future generations will have access to the full spectrum of America’s diverse history through these and other cultural treasures. Visit to learn more about African American heritage in our national parks and learn how you can join AAEF at their Annual Awards Gala “Celebrating Legacies,” this spring.

America Commemorates Presidents’ Day Make A Difference Donor Spotlight:
Matthew Jeffrey

America Commemorates Presidents’ Day

Each February, as America commemorates Presidents’ Day, we at NPF think about the special national parks that have witnessed democracy in action. Presidential inaugurations – the peaceful transfer of power – like the one we celebrated this past month, are an outstanding example of these historic moments preserved across the national park system.  From the steps of Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City to Congress Hall in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, George Washington and John Adams swore their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution in our early capital cities. Thomas Jefferson was the first president inaugurated in Washington, D.C. in the U.S. Capitol, but it was not until Rutherford B. Hayes took the oath in 1877 that The White House hosted this momentous occasion.  

Not all inaugurals come with pomp and circumstance, however, as some are begun as the nation confronts a formidable crisis. Following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson ascended to the presidency in a downtown D.C. hotel, one of the many moments in history recorded along Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site. Teddy Roosevelt rushed from a camping excursion in the Adirondack mountains to Buffalo, NY where President McKinley lay dying and was sworn in by a local federal judge in a home now preserved as Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site. For his fourth inaugural, FDR decided to have a simple, austere ceremony at the White House as World War II raged and gas and lumber were needed more for the troops than a parade. Yet despite these crises, our nation has been continuously stewarded for almost 224 years by the American presidents we commemorate on February 18th.

Make a Difference

On March 1st automatic spending cuts by our government are set to take effect and, if they do, the national parks will face a daunting challenge. The National Park Foundation, the only national charitable organization directly supporting America’s nearly 400 national parks, plays a critical role in helping to support the national parks through conservation and preservation efforts, establishing parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy and support America’s treasured places—but we can’t do it without your help.

In times like these, your support for the national parks is more important than ever. From the Washington Monument to Yosemite to the Grand Canyon, the national parks span 84 million acres of the nation’s most iconic landscapes, historic landmarks and cultural shrines. Your national parks protect the very best of this nation. They safeguard the story of America. Please consider renewing your commitment to these treasured places by making a gift today. Your generosity will help ensure that they are preserved and protected for the many generations to come.

Donor Spotlight: Matthew Jeffrey

Earlier this school year, a sixth grade class in Greenville, MI was assigned a service learning project where each student had to devise a plan to help solve a real world problem.  Student Matthew Jeffrey chose to highlight the issue of endangered species, over 400 of which are found in national parks across the country. As part of his project, Matthew educated others on the subject and raised money at his holiday parties to support the National Park Foundation. The funds raised in his effort will go to support NPF’s Impact Grants program which addresses critical needs, such as wildlife preservation, in national parks. 

The National Park Foundation was thrilled to hear about Matthew’s hard work to help protect our national parks. To read more stories from our friends and supporters, please visit NPF’s blog, Trail Talk.



The Next Generation of Park Scientists

The Parks Climate Challenge program (PCC) trains teachers how to educate students about climate change using national parks as classrooms. The program also brings students to national parks throughout the school year to observe the impact of climate change on our natural, cultural, and historical resources, and learn what various National Park sites are doing to mitigate those effects.

This year, teachers in Wisconsin are teaching their students about the connection between culture and climate change through field work, conversations with global climate experts, and local observations at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Students in Massachusetts are studying the effects of climate change on the growing season on Cape Cod. Through their investigation, teachers are introducing their students to the nature of original research, increasing their understanding of scientific and technological concepts, and promoting skill development in data collection and record keeping. These are just two examples of how the National Park Foundation is advancing the next generation of scientists and stewards.

To learn more about PCC visit and to learn more about other NPF programs and how you can support them, click here.

Winter Break

Suffering from a case of the winter blues? February and March are a great time to beat the crowds and reenergize by visiting a national park.

To get the ball rolling we’ve outlined a fun-filled 3 day excursion to help you explore the abundant national park treasures along the Lone Star Highway – complete with suggestions for where to eat, places to stay and what to see during your journey.

Now all you have to do is start packing and hit the road. Happy traveling!

White House Easter Eggs On Sale Soon!

Are you in search of the perfect Easter gift for friends and family of all ages? Check out the 2013 White House Easter Eggs at – the souvenir eggs will go on sale soon!  

Sold by the National Park Foundation in support of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, these delightful wooden eggs commemorate this long-standing American tradition held on the White House South Lawn, one of our country’s 398 national parks. The commemorative eggs, which are stamped with the signatures of the President and First Lady, are made from FSC-certified American hardwood and come in four beautiful colors. All commemorative eggs come in a delightful eco-friendly gift box made from SFI-certified paperboard. And if you purchase the commemorative set, you receive a free Bo egg! The White House Easter Eggs make a truly eggs-cellent gift or holiday decoration!

Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign

This coming Memorial Day and Fourth of July, the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign will be celebrating their fifth anniversary by helping their park celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the Battle for Defense and Seige of Vicksburg. While most Americans celebrate summer holidays with backyard BBQs and parades, the Friends will be welcoming, engaging and educating visitors young and old about the bravery and perseverance of soldiers and civilians during the Siege. In five short years, the Friends have supported the restoration of the battlefield, markers and monuments – improving one of the Nation’s largest collections of sculptures, monuments, markers and tablets commemorating the Civil War. This year the Friends and the Civil War Trust will introduce a Battlefield APP for visitors, fund experiential learning trips for area school children and, ambitiously, manage over 500 volunteers for a 20,000 light luminaria on July 3, the date commemorating the decision to surrender Vicksburg 150 years ago. Learn more about the Friends, upcoming events for Vicksburg's 150th and their projects at their new website


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How many national parks are named for Presidents Washington and Lincoln?

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Lynn Yaworski, from Poolesville, MD, who knew that Martin Luther King Jr. was baptized and ordained into the ministry at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Way to go Lynn!

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