The parks are back open and fall is still here! We have so much to celebrate together! Show your parks some love and pay them a visit. We’ve all missed them so much. If you’re looking for some ideas, here are a handful to help you brainstorm and plan an exciting “We’re so excited to be reunited” national park adventure.

CALIFORNIA – Enjoy a beautiful adventure along one of Lassen Volcanic National Park’s more than 150 miles of hiking trails and see for yourself how aspens, oaks and sagebrush light up the park with splashes of bright orange, yellow and red.

FLORIDA – Paddle through time and explore the waters that Native Americans and Spanish Conquistadores traveled hundreds of years ago with a free ranger-led kayak tour along the Manatee River at De Soto National Memorial, an American Latino Heritage Fund site.
MAINE – Treat yourself to a ranger-led “Autumn Ramble”, a relaxing 1 ½-hour, one-mile hike and admire first-hand how the maple, birch and poplar trees in Acadia National Park have changed with the season.

PENNSYLVANIA – More than 30 varieties of apples await your picking in the orchard at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site! Apples are grown without herbicides and pesticides and many are historic types!

WYOMING Cottonwoods, aspens and willows are peppered throughout Grand Teton National Park and come fall they shine yellow and orange (and occasionally red)!

For more national park inspiration visit www.nationalparks.org/ownersguide and download one (or several) of National Park Foundation’s FREE special edition Owner’s Guides. For more information about events happening in America's national parks, visit the National Park Service's calendar.

Parks Re-Open Getting Youth Outside Summer Scrapbook:
Congrats to the Winners!

Parks Re-Open

We are excited and relieved to have all of America’s 401 national parks open again. Unfortunately, there were many consequences of the park closures due to the Federal government shutdown. Approximately 11.4 million park visitors were unable to access the parks during this period. Many of the Foundation’s in-park funded programs were also impacted and we are currently working with parks, schools and community organizations to reschedule and restore what was cancelled or postponed. Other impacts were also felt across the parks community from local Friends Groups to park-related businesses, and more. Many of these losses cannot be recouped and we know the impact of the shutdown will be felt for some time to come.  
If anything, this moment has reminded us all of how important the parks are to each and every one one of us.  We want to thank you for showing  your continued support for these treasured places and our important work to protect them. We also want to thank the entire parks community who joined us on Facebook and Twitter over the last two weeks asking questions, raising concerns, and sharing their own personal stories about the parks. Together – we can move forward. We appreciate your continued support  – and invite you all to get back out there and explore your parks!

Getting Youth Outside

NPF grants provide opportunities for kids to get outside and have fun in national parks! And we even throw in a little learning when they least expect it. The America’s Best Idea program engages diverse and underserved audiences in the great outdoors of limitless excitement and exploration. Recently, NPF staffer, Carolyn, traveled out to Zion National Park to participate in a three day, two night trip that brought 50 kids from the concrete jungle to a place of breathtaking awe.  Check out her recent blog post to see exactly how much fun they had learning about watersheds, petroglyphs, and wildlife among the sandstone cliffs.

Youth from Peterson Air Force Base and Fort Carson traveled to Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument this past summer to participate in a trail work mentoring program. The teens were paired with college age members of the Mile High Youth Corps for a week of mentoring, hard work, and also lots of fun. NPF staffers Alex and Katherine had the chance to witness the “Post to Parks” program first-hand and captured the experience to share with you. Check out this video to learn more about the amazing week of work.

Encouraging kids to explore, and take pride in, the national parks in their own backyard is central to the America’s Best Idea program. Keweenaw National Historical Park preserves and interprets the area's mining history, cultural landscapes, and heritage, but struggles to make relevant connections with the community, which struggles with poverty and lack of direction among the young people. The park developed a youth engagement program for 12 at-risk youth who are blogging their s’more eating, guitar playing, adventuring hiking experience here.

Thanks to the generous support of partners like L.L. Bean, NPF is proud to engage our young people around the county in opportunities that open doors to a lifetime of learning and discovery. To find out how you can support programs that get kids outside in our national parks, click here

Summer Scrapbook: Congratulations to the Winners!

Thank you to all the national park fans who contributed thousands of spectacular photos, videos, and travel tips to the Summer Scrapbook. NPF is excited to announce the winners!

Selected by user vote, each content category winner will receive prize packs filled with hiking and camping equipment, NPF gear, a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass and much more!

Congratulations to our category winners!

• Manish M. – Sunrise/Sunset Photo
• Glenn B. – Landscape Photo
• Kit F. – Water Photo
• Jeff G. – Wildlife Photo
• Cathy P. – Fun in the Parks Photo
• Graeme S. – Group or Family Photo
• Edward G. – History and Culture Photo
• Garrett R. – Helping the Parks Photo
• Melissa W. – Park Tips
• Chuck L. – Short Video

View all the winning category entries at www.nationalparks.org/summer.

Anyone who submitted content was entered for a chance to win a fun-filled trip to Yosemite, while anyone who voted was entered for a chance to win a Grand Canyon Railway adventure...The winner of the Yosemite trip is Jim S. from Ventura, CA and the winner of the Grand Canyon Railway adventure is Abi W. from Miami, FL!*
Thanks again to everyone who participated in the Summer Scrapbook!
*Sweepstakes winners are pending confirmation



Fun and Friendly Frights in Your National Parks

Ghost stories around the campfire, lantern-lit hikes, creepy crawlers, cemetery tours, hayrides, bats and more! Once you've decided on this year's costume, head on out to one or several of your more than 400 national parks for some Halloween fun! You may hear phantom gunfire at Antietam National Battlefield or phantom coughing in Mammoth Cave National Park (which used to be a tuberculosis hospital during the 1800s) or you may spot a UFO in Great Sand Dunes National Park. Be ready for anything and always have your camera, as you never know what frights and delights await you in your national parks!

For a full listing of Halloween fun happening in your parks nationwide, click here.

National Christmas Tree Lighting Lottery Opens October 31!

The National Park Foundation and National Park Service are excited to present the 91st annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, December 6 in President’s Park in Washington, DC.  You can participate in this time-honored tradition by entering a ticket lottery at www.thenationaltree.org from Thursday, October 31–Monday, November 4. And if you can’t make it to DC, you can still enjoy the star-studded ceremony by watching live or on-demand at www.thenationaltree.org. The ceremony is also broadcast on PBS channels across the country during the month of December.  
Visit the www.thenationaltree.org for the latest National Christmas Tree Lighting news, updates and broadcast information. Get ready to celebrate the holiday season with your national parks!

Donor Spotlight: Frank and Trey Bishop

Frank and Trey Bishop have an abiding love of the outdoors, and especially recreation in national parks. This past summer the father and son team joined the National Park Foundation’s Grand Canyon Expedition, spending an incredible week together braving the rapids of the Colorado River and taking in the stunning scenery of the popular national park. Their adventure led their family to make a first-ever gift to the National Park Foundation as Stewardship Circle members -- and one that will help ensure future park visitors have the same life-changing experience that they did.

They also discovered that parks have a unique and unalterable way of bringing family and friends together, something that has occurred countless times over the history of national parks. Trey, an accomplished furniture designer, traveled from his home in Cebu, Philippines to join Frank, an Atlanta-based businessman, for their journey through the Grand Canyon. In fact, the Bishops chose to visit the Grand Canyon at the urging of friends and fellow Atlanta residents Kirk Dornbush, a member of the National Park Foundation’s board of directors, and his father, Ambassador Terry Dornbush.

For more information about joining the Stewardship Circle or to make a donation to support NPF’s programs to connect people to parks, click here.

Missed Summer Scrapbook?

If you didn’t get a chance to enter your photo in NPF’s Summer Scrapbook contest this year, don’t worry, there’s still time to participate in the 2013 Share the Experience Photo Contest! The National Park Foundation, along with Active Network and Air Wick invite you to share your favorite national park photos for a chance at some more great prizes.  Enter your photos until December 31 at www.sharetheexperience.org.

National Parks - Living Laboratories

Approaching its fifth year, Parks Climate Challenge trains teachers across the country to educate and engage students in the science behind climate change using national parks as classrooms. This year, with support from the Bayer USA Foundation, NPF awarded grants to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Crater Lake National Park and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Over the summer, each park held a teacher training engaging 46 educators in the science and pedagogy of climate change.

Throughout the school year, teachers will work with NPS staff to bring students to the parks to deepen their understanding of climate change and other STEM-based knowledge through field observations and service-learning activities. The National Park Foundation is proud to work with the Bayer USA Foundation to provide vital professional development to teachers, allowing them to make engaging connections for students relating to the environmental challenge of climate change and overall sustainability. Improving science literacy builds lifelong skills for our next generation of thought leaders. For more information about Parks Climate Challenge and other exceptional National Park Foundation programs, visit nationalparks.org

Discover the C&O Canal

Quietly snaking along the Potomac River from the hills of Cumberland to the wider waters of Washington, DC, the C&O Canal National Historical Park provides 185 miles of incredible nature, architectural marvels and recreation. Originally used to transport goods, the C&O Canal includes over 1,300 historical structures, encompasses 15,000 acres, protects 60 rare and threatened species and welcomes almost 5 million visitors a year. The C&O Canal Trust, like the park itself, connects to local communities through programs like Canal Discoveries and the Canal Towns Partnership and by engaging people in volunteer and philanthropic support through its popular Canal Pride Days. The integrity and continuity of the towpath, frequented by cyclists, runners, walker and families exploring the landscape, is supported in part with funds from the Trust. The Trust’s Canal Quarters program provides a unique overnight experience for visitors in one of over six carefully restored lock houses of the many that dot the canal. A crown jewel of the Trust is the Canal Classrooms education program that meaningfully engages children from communities bordering the park in hands-on history and science experiences. 

Visit the C&O Canal Trust’s terrific website to learn more about joining the many volunteers and donors who make this such a magical park.

Gear for Park Lovers

Do you love parks? The National Park Foundation is proud to offer our supporters a great way to show their love for the national parks, while supporting them at the same time. View NPF’s full product lineeverything from tees, to hats, to totesby clicking here.

Make your next national park adventure better than ever! Download a FREE copy of Happy Trails today!

National Park Foundation
National Park Service
Flight 93 National Memorial

Name America’s first national parkway?

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Andrew Whitmore, from West Bend, WI, who knew that German submarines came into the fjord-like coves of Acadia National Park along the eastern seaboard during WWII.

Way to go Andrew!

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