NATIONAL PARKS HONOR OUR NATIONAL HEROES

Memorial Day is a time to come together as a nation to remember and honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives defending our beloved country and protecting the freedoms we are so fortunate to have as Americans. Many of our national parks honor such heroes with memorials and monuments, and offer the perfect backdrop to reflect on their sacrifices as well as remember our own loved ones.

From the  Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, where Americans’ valiant efforts inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,”  to Chalmette National Cemetery in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, the final resting place of 15,000 veterans from the Spanish-American War, World War I and II, and the Vietnam War—national parks across the country honor the many heroes from our nation’s past and keep their stories alive. Our national parks also honor present-day heroes. The Flight 93 National Memorial pays tribute to the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who courageously gave their lives to save countless others. 

This Memorial Day weekend, while enjoying time with your family and friends, please take a moment to reflect on the many sacrifices our fellow Americans have made for us and for future generations.

NEW THIS MONTH
Trails for Change Support Your Parks This Summer! Share the Experience
Photo Contest

Trails for Change

Over the next year and beyond, Joshua Tree National Park will combine community fitness programs with citizen science volunteer opportunities to provide an amazing “Trails for Change” experience for visitors. As part of a 2013 Active Trails grant, the park will partner with several local and national organizations to encourage members of the gateway communities and all park visitors to exercise their bodies and minds. “Trails for Change” will incorporate three park trails of varying difficulty for participants to improve their health while making meaningful scientific contributions—a benefit not only for visitors, but the park’s trails too! With a range of outdoor activity options, including more than 300 miles of trails, this program will increase awareness of the park’s resources along with the plant communities present in the park. New and old visitors alike can appreciate the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park!

To learn more and find out how you can support grants like this click here.

Support Your Parks This Summer!

The National Park Foundation is teaming up with Coca-Cola to give you TWO great ways to help your national parks this summer.  Starting June 6, NPF will launch the “Double Your Dollars” donation campaign where Coca-Cola will match any donation – dollar for dollar – made to NPF, up to $50,000. Please help us raise $100,000 for our national parks this June by making a donation at:  www.nationalparks.org/doubledollars.
 
Also kicking off June 6, Coca-Cola will host its fourth annual “America Is Your Park” campaign to encourage people to get active outdoors to support their parks.  Through July 15, everyone is invited to vote daily for your favorite park. The top three parks receiving the most votes will win recreation grants from Coca-Cola for park improvements! Cast your votes starting on June 6 at www.Coke.com/parks and help your favorite park win a grant from Coca-Cola.

Share the Experience Photo Contest
2012 Winners Announced and 2013 Contest Begins

The National Park Foundation is excited to announce the winner of the 2012 Share the Experience Photo Contest! The Grand Prize winning photo was taken by Katherine Hawkins at Bridger Teton National Forest and will be featured on next year’s Federal Recreational Lands Pass. To view more breathtaking winning photos, click here.

The 2013 Share the Experience Photo Contest has just begun. The National Park Foundation, along with Active Network and Air Wick, invite you to share your favorite national park photos for a chance to have your photo featured on the 2015 Federal Recreational Lands Pass. In addition, the top three winners will be awarded CASH prizes. There are many other opportunities to win great prizes.  Winners in various categories, such as Wildlife or Adventure and Recreation, will receive hotel stays from Historic Hotels of America along with a Limited Edition National Park Collection pack from Air Wick and a backpack courtesy of Columbia Sportswear. In addition, weekly winners will be selected. The contest runs through December 31. Go now to enter your national park photos at www.sharetheexperience.org.

 

NEWS, NOTES & UPDATES

Spotlight on Disney

The National Park Foundation’s “Ticket to Ride” program will reach new heights this year with a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Now in its second year and with continued support from Disney, “Ticket to Ride” provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country. The grant from Disney will connect more than 60,000 students to national parks to experience location-based learning this year.

In addition to the grant, Disney Friends for Change – a program that inspires kids and families to make a positive impact on their world by helping people and the planet – developed an interstitial, which is airing on Disney Channel and Disney Online. The spot encourages kids and families to explore the outdoors, whether at a local, state, or national park. Disney Friends for Change also created an online action kit that helps families plan a park visit in four easy steps and provides ideas on park activities ranging from hikes to wildlife exploration.

If that wasn’t enough, Radio Disney recognized national park youth enthusiast Dara as a “Hero for Change” at the Radio Disney Music Awards. Congratulations, Dara!

Calling All Bloggers! You Could Win A National Park Adventure!

NPF’s American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) is excited to announce the launch of the @American_Latino Expedition, a summertime adventure to encourage diverse audiences to visit, explore and enjoy America’s national parks! Through a partnership with ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and REI, ALHF is hosting a national search for bloggers to participate in one of three national park journeys! The @American_Latino Expedition will feature trips to Olympic National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Each trip will focus on education, park stewardship, outdoor recreation and exploration, all the while highlighting historic American Latino contributions at each site.

Are you a blogger? Apply for your chance to participate in this incredible opportunity on our website today. To follow the @American_Latino Expedition on Twitter and Instagram, please use the hashtag #ALEx13.


How Well Do You Know North America?

“How well do you know the continent you call home?” In a seven-part series that premiered on Sunday, May 19 9/8c Discovery asks viewers just that. In its NORTH AMERICA series, Discovery captures a land where life collides with untamed wilderness in some of the most diverse environments on Earth. Though the series spans the entirety of North America from the frigid Yukon Territory to the lush forests of Belize, each episode features amazing stories from America’s national parks.

NORTH AMERICA's first five episodes will reveal the intimate stories of animals struggling to survive in unforgiving weather and rugged terrain. Never-before-seen sequences include Alaska’s mighty grizzly bears diving in more than 20 feet of water to fish salmon.  In the final episode, the show will reveal what online voters chose as the number one, natural North American destination via Discovery's "My North America" Facebook page.  Park lovers, this is your chance to show America and the world YOUR favorite national park, so be sure to cast your vote.

Washington's National Park Fund

Vacation photos and videos capture memories but also provide inspiration, as is the case with this terrific video below about Washington’s National Park Fund.  The video beautifully captures the majestic landscapes of Mt. Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic national parks and the vital role philanthropy plays in supporting each.

Founded in 1993, Washington’s National Park Fund supports science and research, strengthens visitors’ experiences, builds youth and family initiatives and expands the parks' volunteer programs. Friend the Fund on Facebook and keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest here!

Expressions of Freedom Winners Announced

IIn partnership with the National Park Service, NPF’s African American Experience Fund awarded scholarships to nine youth from around the country for their art commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The student art competition, supported by a grant from Elliotsville Plantation Inc., offered an opportunity to connect with the many national parks that tell the stories of the nation’s journey from Civil War to Civil Rights. Students between the ages of 13-18 years were challenged to answer the question, “What does freedom mean to you?” 

The first place winners were: Arianna Martinez, 17 years old from Tuscon, Ariz. for photography; Evan Gedrich, 16 years old from Brick, N.J. for digital short film; and Afoma Okoye, 17 years old from Kennesaw, Ga. for poetry. Each first place winner received a $2,500 academic scholarship. All winners received an America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. To view all winners and their entries visit the African American Experience Fund’s website.

Make your next national park adventure better than ever! Download your FREE Owner's Guide to America's National Parks today!

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Name the national park site of which more than 80% is under water, complete with underwater trails and signs, and a full snorkeling program for visitors.

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Tim Burton, from Alexandria, VA, who knew that the creation of First State National Monument in Delaware means that all 50 states are now home to a national park!

Way to go Tim!

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