SPRING FUN IN YOUR NATIONAL PARKS

Have you made any plans to visit one of our nearly 400 national parks this spring? If you’re looking for some ideas, we’re here to help! We’ve listed below some exciting national park adventures that we think you’d enjoy!

Start your morning off right with an early birding tour at Padre Island National Seashore (TX)
More than 380 species of birds have been identified at Padre Island National Seashore – that’s nearly half of all the bird species that have been documented in North America! Join the park’s expert birding guides on a 2-3 hour driving tour to find and observe the amazing variety of birds found in this park.

Stroll along the riverfront at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (LA)
Take an hour-long, guided walk along the Mississippi River levee and learn all about New Orleans history! Walk ends on the levee across from Jackson Square.

Discover an underwater paradise at Virgin Islands National Park (VI)
Snorkel over a coral reef while a park ranger points out different coral formations, the organisms that live there and explains how they relate to each other. In addition, you will learn what the park is doing to protect these valuable resources.

Visit the only planetarium in the National Park system at Rock Creek Park (DC)
Come view the brightest stars, planets, and constellations of the springtime and learn their stories.

See how you measure up at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (KS)
Did you know that tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America? Today less than 4% remains and most of it is found at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Join us for a 90-minute ranger-led prairie bus tour and learn all about the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, geology, and American Indian and ranching cultures, all the while enjoying the wide-open vistas of the prairie horizon.

For more springtime events happening in America's national parks, click here.

NEW THIS MONTH
National Park Week 2013 Partnering for Parks Honoring Excellence

National Park Week is Next Month!

DID YOU KNOW…America’s national parks include more than 18,000 miles of trails, 43,000 miles of shoreline, 900 miles of passageways and caves, and 12,000 campsites?!?  There is so much to learn and appreciate about America’s 398 national parks and NATIONAL PARK WEEK is the perfect time to do just that.  From April 20 – 28, everyone is invited to get to know our national parks, so take this chance to broaden your understanding of the vast history, culture and natural beauty the national parks encompass.  As extra incentive to experience all the parks have to offer, from April 22 – 26, visitors can enjoy ALL the parks for FREE!

From ranger-led hikes and kayak trips to camping and exploring, park visitors can plan their National Park Week visit at www.nationalparkweek.org. Discover information about special events and activities for visitors of all ages, how to share your park adventure with other travelers, and how to support these treasured places.

Partnering for Parks

The National Park Foundation and national park Friends Groups have joined together to launch an exciting new initiative for our parks—the Legacy Projects.  The Legacy Projects is a portfolio of eleven priority projects within the parks that will deliver direct and immediate impact. Projects like, stabilizing the world’s largest Puebloan dwelling, Cliff Palace, at Mesa Verde, restoring native plant communities in the Grand Canyon, rehabilitating and building new trails in the mountains of Yosemite and constructing a new facility for youth education at Mount Rushmore.

The Legacy Projects is an exciting opportunity for park supporters—every dollar raised by NPF will be matched by the local Friends Groups and put towards projects this year! This pilot program is one of the many ways NPF is investing in the future of our national parks. Support today and help ensure that future generations will be able to experience the history and culture of these treasured places.

Honoring Excellence

"Like sailing, rangering is often full of unending learning, quiet observation, the constant checking of surroundings, terrain mastery and an intuition for sometimes subtle and/or minute changes in conditions that we must acknowledge in order to maintain an advantage."  Brandon Torres of Grand Canyon National Park offered this perspective of what it means to be a park ranger. Torres, the 2012 recipient of the Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award, was honored by the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service last month at a ceremony in Washington, DC celebrating the art of rangering and the valuable contributions made by volunteers in our national parks.

NPS and NPF also celebrated the recipients of the national George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service.  Last year, more than 257,000 volunteers of all ages, from all over the country, and the world, donated 6.7 million hours of time to help preserve and protect national parks. Learn more about all the award recipients here.

 

NEWS, NOTES & UPDATES

Expedition Yellowstone

Last month National Park Foundation Stewardship Circle donors got the chance to experience the pristine majesty of winter in Yellowstone. Every year, NPF offers members of the Stewardship Circle unforgettable trips to our national parks. Established in 1872 as America's first national park, Yellowstone boasts many of the world’s most impressive geological features and remains the center of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in Earth’s temperate zone. Stewardship Circle members had the opportunity to see these amazing features up close and personal, along with an abundance of wildlife in their natural habitat, including bison, moose, elk, coyotes and the star attraction – wolves. Guests were treated to a welcome reception in the historic home of Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk, followed   by an intimate presentation by renowned NPS wildlife biologist and wolf expert, Doug Smith. Days were spent cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through Mammoth Hot Springs and the Old Faithful Geyser Basin exploring Yellowstone as few people do. Stewardship Circle members spent time with prominent researchers and National Park Service rangers learning about the issues facing Yellowstone and other national parks and how philanthropy plays an important role in caring for our parks. 

Every detail of our expeditions are organized and carried out by the NPF team, giving members a chance to relax and enjoy a once in a lifetime national park experience. To get a better sense of the trip and the breathtaking scenery visit our blog.

Previous expeditions have included Acadia National Park and Katmai National Park and Preserve. The National Park Foundation is currently distributing information to Stewardship Circle members on our 2013 summer expedition, rafting through the Grand Canyon.  For more information about how you can become a member of the Stewardship Circle and join us on a future expedition, click here.

The Friends of Kenilworth Gardens

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, located just two miles from the nation’s Capitol building in Washington DC, is the only national park devoted to cultivated water-loving plants. Starting in late May water lilies and lotus take center stage each summer but the park presents an ever changing pallet of colors all year with fall foliage and winter birding. This unique habitat within the city provides an oasis for nature lovers and a haven for walkers, hikers, photographers, and birdwatchers.

The park offers a rich cultural history too, from the Nacotchtank Indians to early American settlers, to contemporary African American communities, the area we now know as Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens has been home to a variety of people for more than 4,000 years.

The Friends of Kenilworth Gardens works to recruit volunteers to help protect and manage the park. Like them on Facebook to learn more about how you can volunteer, celebrate, and support this amazing park!

Bo Is Back!

For the second year in a row, America’s First Dog, Bo, has his very own White House Easter Egg!  This limited-edition commemorative egg comes in a beautiful teal color with the First Dog’s “signature” (paw print) stamped on the back.  And since the Bo Egg is included as part of the 2013 White House Easter Egg commemorative set, you’ll also receive the four official White House Easter Eggs – each in a unique pastel color – featuring the official White House Easter Egg Roll logo and the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady.  Crafted from FSC-certified U.S. hardwood and packaged in a delightful SFI-certified gift box, the commemorative eggs are both beautiful and eco-friendly!

To order your very own commemorative set click here!

Claim Your Inch of the Parks

In support of National Park Week and Earth Day, the National Park Foundation has been named as the featured cause for the month of April on the myinchoftheearth website! The site allows users to claim any virtual inch of the earth or ocean, share photos or videos of why that place is special to them, and then choose to donate to the preservation of that place.  Each virtual inch claimed is only $12 per year and individuals receive their own personalized GoodDEED™ for every inch they purchase.  There are so many memorable and once in a lifetime experiences that are enjoyed in our national parks each year!  National Park fans are encouraged to visit myinchoftheearth.com and claim their own virtual inch of any of our national parks or monuments, and share photographs or video of why that place is so special– it is a GREAT way to celebrate National Park Week!

See and Support Your Parks with GoParks! Tours

Did you know that NPF has partnered with Globus to provide unique tour experiences in our national parks?  It’s a natural fit since Globus has been taking travelers to national parks for over three decades.  Plus, if you book a GoParks! national park tour with Globus, they will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation —at no additional cost to you.  A Globus GoParks! vacation lets you visit and support the national parks at the same time.

If you’d like to learn more about the GoParks! tours, NPF and Globus are hosting a free, on-demand webinar. Click here get more information or to watch the 30-minute webinar. To see a complete list of GoParks! tours, visit globusjourneys.com.

EXPLORE YOUR PARKS

Start planning your next national park adventure with NPF's FREE Owner's Guide! Download Today!

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THIS MONTH'S QUIZ

What national park, created 75 years ago this month, provides an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Nathaniel Hawthorne and many of his fictional characters?

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Miller Smyth, from Brielle, NJ, who knew that 9 national parks are named for Presidents Washington and Lincoln.

Way to go Miller!

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