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National & State Parks Blog


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Oh Canada!

Saturday June 30, 2012

Sometimes it feels easy to forget that the national parks spread across our borders. In fact, Canada is home to some of the most stunning parks you have ever seen! Whether you want to explore the forests of Bruce Peninsula, the bears of Vuntut, or the migrating caribou of Ivvavik, Canada's got it all.

Acadia National Park Gets Coined

Tuesday June 26, 2012
Bass Harborhead Lighthouse, Acadia National Park, Maine
© JBColorado via Flickr

Acadia National Park is the latest park to be featured on a coin. Bass Head Lighthouse, in Southwest Harbor, can be found on the latest quarter in the US Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The coin was unveiled at a special ceremony in the park this morning.

"When you just look at the natural beauty [of the lighthouse], that's part of it," said B.B. Craig, Associate Director for Sales and Marketing for the US Mint, "but then when you look at the history, that speaks for itself."

The US Mint releases five quarters each year, depicting 56 national parks and other national sites.

Get Ready For Independence Day!

Saturday June 23, 2012

© foxypar4 via Flickr

With the 4th of July around the corner, learn about the holiday and its importance by visiting Independence National Historical Park. Plan your trip to Philadelphia now!

Bill Could Impair National Parks Across the Country

Tuesday June 19, 2012

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives began consideration of HR 2578, a bill that undermines fundamental protection for dozens of national parks. Below is a statement from the NCPA:

"If enacted, the most far-reaching and extreme provision of this legislation would create a zone within 100 miles of our country's international land border of Mexico and Canada. In this zone, the most basic protections for our national parks, historic sites, and other protected areas may cease to exist at the whim of the Department of Homeland Security. This bill undermines basic national park protections based on the false premise that it is somehow impossible to secure our borders and protect our national heritage at the same time.

"No government agency should be above the law, yet this bill would allow the Department of Homeland Security unfettered authority to ignore laws that protect our fish and wildlife, national parks, forests, and historic sites. Ironically, the federal agency that would receive this unfettered authority said it does not want it, doesn't need it, and shouldn't have it. According to Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, this legislation "is unnecessary, and it's bad policy." "Multiple national park sites would be threatened under this legislation, including Voyageurs, Glacier , Fort Union Trading Post, Perry's Victory Memorial, Fort Stanwix National Monument, Big Bend, Tumacacori, Saguaro, and Joshua Tree.

"The bill also includes authorization for reconstructing an expensive, little-used route in North Cascades National Park and undermines the National Park Service's carefully drafted plan that protects families visiting Cape Hatteras beaches, as well as nesting shorebirds and turtles, while still allowing vehicle access along much of the national seashore. Congress must vote "NO" on HR 2578 to protect our national heritage and natural resources."

What do you think? Share your thoughts now!

National Parks, Forests Are Fee-Free For National Get Outdoors Day

Saturday June 2, 2012

© Lauren Himiak

National Get Outdoors Day is a new annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. Participating partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. This year, national parks and forests have decided to waive entrance fees, encouraging more visitors to get outdoors. No park passes needed on June 9 so get out there and enjoy the outdoors!

Saturday is National Trails Day!

Friday June 1, 2012
Shenandoah National Park trail
© Lauren Himiak

Grab your boots because this Saturday is National Trails Day! This years theme is "America's Largest TRAILgating Party," which aims to get more people outside connecting with nature through local hiking clubs. Be sure to check out national and state parks in your areas for specific events, including guided hikes, trail cleanup and more! Check out last year's successful National Trails Day.

The Forgotten Father

Friday June 1, 2012

Do you know who George Mason is? To many, he is the forgotten father of the parks. Learn more about the George Mason Memorial and how he impacted the parks we know and love today.

Visiting Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Thursday May 31, 2012

You don't have to be a history buff to learn about past wars. Fresh off Memorial Day is a great time to refresh your memory on the history of those who have fought for our country. Check out the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located in Washington, D.C., for information on what the war was about and how to pay respect.

Visiting Washington's Memorials

Thursday May 31, 2012

© eschipul via Flickr

Washington, D.C. is a great place to visit over the summer. While you are there be sure to check out some of the historical memorial located within the National Mall. Learn about the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the Constitution Gardens. With so much to do, you may have to visit twice!

Grants Awarded to Restore And Establish Trails

Thursday May 24, 2012


The National Park Foundation (NPF) has announced over $200,000 in grants to be awarded to the thirteen national parks that have been selected to participate in the 2012 Active Trails program. Now in its fourth round of grants, the NPF's Active Trails program promotes national parks as a place to not only engage a community, but also to encourage healthy living.

The 2012 Active Trails Grantees include:

"Maintaining over 18,000 miles of trails is no small task," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of NPF. "The Active Trail funds help parks across the country create or expand vital trail related projects, improving the visitor experience and encouraging engagement opportunities with each parks' gateway community."

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