As our nation celebrates another birthday, we can’t help but think about all that this country has given us, especially America’s more than 400 national parks. From America's tallest peaks to our grandest canyon; from the places that celebrate our highest ideals to those that commemorate our deepest sacrifices; from the places that honor our finest achievements to those that mark our gravest mistakes – each of these sacred places teaches a lesson, offers an experience, and connects us to our rich past for the betterment of our future. Our national parks are the perfect place to celebrate the founding of our nation and they offer special events for Americans of all ages. Here are just a handful of national park events taking place across the country:

MASSACHUSETTS – Join park rangers and volunteers at Minute Man National Historical Park as they mark the occasion with a reading of the Declaration of Independence!

NEW MEXICO – Share the joy of being an American citizen! Join Bandelier National Monument during its second annual naturalization ceremony, in partnership with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

NEW YORK – The Statue of Liberty will reopen on July 4! While the site has been closed since suffering damage from Superstorm Sandy, it will be back up and running and open to the public in time for Independence Day!
OHIO Enjoy an Independence Day ride on a vintage train through Cuyahoga Valley National Park!

WASHINGTON Celebrate July 4 with the 50th annual incredible fireworks display at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site! Enjoy traditional family fun games and entertainment all day!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The fireworks and musical performances at the National Mall & Memorial Parks are always a good time and always impressive. If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path and less crowded check out Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. Connect with Frederick Douglass’ powerful words at this African American Experience Fund site with a reading of his memorable speech “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” that he delivered on July 5, 1852 in Rochester, NY.

WYOMING – Head on over to Fort Laramie National Historic Site for some good old fashioned Fourth of July fun! Participate in sack races and other games, watch the military flag raising ceremony, hear the cannon fired, listen to the 38 gun salute, watch the equestrian drill team, and help recreate a parade from 1876!

To find even more event ideas, visit the National Park Service website.

Summer Scrapbook Sesame Street Visits
the Parks
Connecting People
to Parks
Thank You!

Summer Scrapbook
Share Your National Park Pics, Clips and Tips!

With the kick off of summer, NPF is excited to announce the launch of our online Summer Scrapbook! Starting today, we invite you to join in by sharing your national park photos, videos, and travel tips online – 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!

Sesame Street Visits the Parks

Looking for a great way to engage the children in your life in the national parks you know and love?  Through an NPF grant, we have partnered with the National Park Service and Sesame Street to create six short videos and accompanying hands-on activities that introduce preschoolers to the natural world. Featuring Sesame Street’s fun-loving Muppets, Elmo and Murray, viewers can virtually travel to Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City with Sesame Street Explores National Parks. Join park rangers as they encourage Elmo and Murray to utilize all of their senses to investigate and observe the outdoors. The videos teach young people about habitats, seasons, plants, and animals. They will also learn how to conduct an animal survey, look for nests, identify migration patterns, and simply listen to the sounds of nature. 

It is never too soon to encourage a love for the great outdoors and America’s national parks!

Connecting People to Parks

Prior to receiving a National Park Foundation Park Stewards grant, the majority of the students at Arizona College Prep Academy had never visited Saguaro National Park, a mere 15 minutes from their school’s campus. Overall, the students said that they knew the park existed, but they never found a reason to go there. The Park Stewards program gave them a reason, many reasons in fact, and connected the students to this national treasure in their own backyard. The program also helped the park in many ways including bringing students’ creativity, positive energy, new ideas and enthusiasm into the park.

Through curriculum and service learning projects, the Park Stewards Program helps high school teachers and their students build a deeper connection and sense of stewardship for their national parks. For the students at Arizona College Prep Academy, their three year partnership with National Park Foundation and Saguaro National Park has given them the opportunity to use the national parks as their own personal laboratories. They learned how to conduct the annual Saguaro census and helped park rangers collect invaluable data. They monitored wildlife with hidden night cameras and shared that they were so excited to see “packrats, Kangaroo rats, coyotes, deer, Javelinas, bobcats and even a badger,” because you can’t always encounter those animals in the park during the day.

One student said that “I feel that Saguaro National Park has become an actual part of my life,” while another explained that “I guess I’d always been appreciative of national parks, but honestly I’d never taken the time to visit one or knew that there was one not very far from where I live…I’ve actually become engaged with the park instead of thinking about it”.

Want to learn more about this incredible partnership and how the National Park Foundation is helping to connect people to the parks? Watch “Three Years of Stewardship,” a short documentary that tells the powerful story of how students at Arizona College Prep Academy have been positively impacted by engaging with Saguaro National Park. And to find out how you can support programs like this, click here.


Thank You!

Thank you for your amazing response to this month’s donation matching challenge. Because of your inspiring support, we met our $50,000 goal in record time!  We are grateful to our partner Coca-Cola for their generous matching gift — making your support go even further for America's national parks!

If you were unable to make a gift last week, but would still like to help your national parks, visit today. Your support is always needed to help make sure our nation's most treasured places, our national parks, are preserved and protected for generations to come — for all to enjoy.


Gettysburg Celebrates 150 Years

Come on out to Pennsylvania and join our friends at Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation as they commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg in the places where these historic events took place! Starting Saturday, June 29 through Sunday, July 7, they will be hosting special events and programs including ranger-led tours and hikes, the 150th Junior Ranger challenge, and artillery demonstrations. Be sure to check out the Commemorative Events Guide 2013 to get the inside scoop!

For more information about Gettysburg 150th Anniversary commemorative events, visit the Gettysburg National Military Park page on the National Park Service website and the Gettysburg Foundation.

Donor Spotlight: Michael Conley and Susan Steele

This summer, a youth conservation corps will get underway at Glacier National Park thanks in part to the generous support of Michael Conley and Susan Steele. The conservation corps, part of the National Park Foundation’ s Legacy Projects, will give a half-dozen young people a hands-on experience in all facets of trail management at one of America’s premier national parks.

Trails are what first brought Sue and Mike to national parks. The Estes Park, Colorado couple are avid hikers, particularly among the spectacular ranges of Rocky Mountain National Park and the beautiful coasts of Southern California. Having spent a prosperous career with McDonald’s, they wanted to get out more to experience national parks as well as pave the way for a new generation of enthusiasts to enjoy national parks. In fact, a gift to NPF last year from Sue and Mike helped start a conservation corps at Bandelier National Monument. And as former corporate executives, they appreciate how to make a dollar go farther – gifts to NPF’s Legacy Projects are matched dollar-for-dollar by local Friends Groups.

For more information about creating your own legacy or to make a donation in support of NPF’s Legacy projects, click here

Park Partners Project

Every great idea has a beginning, and key to the National Park Service’s creation was the generous gifts of land – like Acadia  and the Grand Tetons– by the Rockefellers and many others.  That tradition of park philanthropy is alive and well today, carried on by the National Park Foundation and Friends Groups across the nation.

In its third year, the National Park Foundation’s Park Partners Project provides selected Friends Groups with strategic consulting and training on best practices for planning, fundraising and marketing to build more effective organizations and stronger park partnerships. The 2013 Park Partners Project participants include the Appomattox 1865 Foundation, C&O Canal Trust, Colorado National Monument Association, Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Friends of Wind Cave National Park, Guilford Battleground Company, Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosie the Riveter Trust.

Visit our Park Partner page to learn more about Friends Groups.

Globus Book Your Summer Vacation In A National Park!

Spot this motor-coach in a national park and you’re likely to see some very happy travelers nearby! The National Park Foundation is thrilled to have teamed up with Globus to create a truly unique collection of GoParks! tours featuring 20-plus national parks. But don’t just take our word for it:

“The GoParks! Enchanted Canyonlands trip was fantastic. Seeing the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Arches National Park all on the same trip was awesome! ...a great job by GLOBUS on a vacation that will be remembered forever.” –Marc O., Enola, PA

In addition, Globus makes a contribution to NPF for every traveler they bring on a GoParks! tour – at no additional cost to you! Click here to learn more.

What's Your Favorite National Park?

For the third year in a row, Coca-Cola is asking all Americans to vote for their favorite park at The top three parks will win recreation grants from Coca-Cola totaling $175,000. Click here to help your favorite national park win a grant by voting daily through July 13.


Doing Well by Doing Good

Last month, NPF and L.L. Bean were honored with not one, but two Cause Marketing Halo Awards for our work together on the Million Moment Mission campaign. NPF was presented with a GOLD award in the Best Environmental Campaign category and a SILVER award in the Best Transactional Campaign category at the 11th Annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference. Now in their eleventh year, the Cause Marketing Halo Awards are North America's highest honor in the field of cause marketing, awarded by the Cause Marketing Forum, a company dedicated to providing business and nonprofit executives with the practical information and connections they need to succeed.

L.L Bean’s Million Moment Mission campaign funding provided support for NPF programming that offers young children and teens unique learning opportunities inside national parks, and often provides their first national park experience. This programming generates a great deal of interest in national parks, and also increases young participants’ values of stewardship, not only for our greatest historic, cultural and natural resources, but in all aspects of the  outdoors.

The National Park Foundation is proud to partner with a company that shares our values and passion to get kids outdoors, get kids healthy, get kids learning and support America’s national treasures. Descriptions of all the Cause Marketing Halo Award winners can be found online by clicking here.

Expedition Grand Canyon, July 13-19

Last Chance – Only a Few Spots Remain!

See the Grand Canyon in a whole new way with the National Park Foundation.  Make new friends with park enthusiasts and learn about the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon during our expert-guided 7-day/6-night rafting and outdoor adventure through what Teddy Roosevelt called “the one great sight which every American should see.”  Designed exclusively for members of the Stewardship Circle, only a few spots remain to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. To learn more about the Stewardship Circle and Expedition Grand Canyon please contact Amber Hanna at

For every Yosemite, there's a lesser-known park where the scenery shines and surprises. Download your FREE copy of The Places Nobody Knows today and begin discovering the many hidden gems within the national park system.

National Park Foundation
National Park Service
Flight 93 National Memorial

The Battle of Gettysburg, commemorated at a national military park, took place on what dates?

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Bill Blessing, who knew that Buck Island Reef NM is 80% under water, complete with underwater trails and signs, and has a full snorkeling program for visitors!

Way to go Bill!

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