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Oct 142010

Blue Ridge Parkway

From Green Right Now Reports

The National Park Foundation announced the 2010 “Top National Parks for Fall Foliage” list.  Each national park location offers unique ways in which visitors can view the colorful foliage.  Whether by water, foot, bicycle or car, however, the dramatic colors of the season are not to be missed.

This year’s list, and the optimal times for foliage viewing, includes:

The announcement is made in partnership with Olympus, which is sponsoring the Share the Experience photo contest. Submissions are currently being accepted for this year’s best photo of national parks. The grand prize winning photo will be featured on next year’s Federal Recreation Lands Pass and will receive an Olympus PEN E-P2 Digital Camera.

Apr 202010

From Green Right Now Reports

With Earth Day approaching, and summer just around the corner, thinking about getting back to nature is, well…natural.

Image: National Park Foundation

Image: National Park Foundation

The folks at the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation think so, too. In honor of National Parks Week (April 17-25), they have released their list of the “Top 10 Things You Can Do to Celebrate National Parks Week 2010″:

1. Share a park, and shape a life: Introduce a young person to our national parks. Go to nationalparkweek.org and download the brand new free resource for families: Parks for Play: 35 National Park Adventures for Kids of All Ages which features 35 great national parks for families with tykes, teens and everyone in between.

2. Visit a National Park for Free: The National Park Service has waived entrance fees to all 392 national parks through Sunday, April 25, 2010. Need help locating the closest park to you? Visit the NPS webpage on this event. 

3. Plant Native Species: “Everglades National Park was the first national park in America established to preserve, protect, and restore a unique and fragile ecosystem,” said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades National Park. “You can protect the environment in your community by planting native plant species in your home gardens and backyards. Non-native plants can adversely impact native wildlife, wreak havoc on nearby natural areas and waters, and interfere with our efforts to restore imperiled ecosystems like the Everglades.”

4. Help Support the Parks at Macy’s: If you can’t make it to a park, consider a gift of any amount and Macy’s will match your gift up to $1 million through the end of April. Macy’s support of the National Park Foundation is helping bring more than 100,000 youth into parks this spring. You can help by visiting your nearest Macy’s store or going online at to the Macy’s Giveback program.

5. Celebrate Earth Day in the Parks, and Leave Your Car Home: Did you know that there are many options for visiting national parks without driving your car? In Boston, on April 21st and 22nd (Earth Day) park rangers will be picking up visitors at MBTA (“The T”) and offering rides to 12 area parks. Take the train through Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. Or, think about carpooling with friends to the park nearest you.

6. Use Reusable bags: “Replace disposable bags with reusable ones,” said Rich Weideman, Chief of Public Affairs at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “Everyone has seen old plastic bags stuck in trees, littering our roadsides and in our streams, and that’s just one of the signs of waste we face in an urban national park like Golden Gate.”

7. Volunteer: Help pick up trash, mulch a trail, pull weeds – or whatever else your local park needs. Find out how you can volunteer too by visiting nationalparkweek.org.

8. Buy Locally Grown Produce: “When you buy your fruits and veggies locally, you’re saving on the fuel and energy it takes to transport and store them,” said Joan Anzelmo superintendent of Colorado National Monument, where park rangers participate in the local farmers market in Grand Junction, Colo., each summer.

9. Help turn one of America’s best parks into one of America’s best classrooms: This spring, the National Park Foundation will bring Bryce Canyon National Park into classrooms across the nation through our Electronic Field Trip. It’s free for teachers to register their classes for the live broadcast and interactive curriculum. Click on this link to sign up.

10. Use Water Efficiently: “A whopping 30 % of the city of Seattle’s electricity comes from hydroelectricity generated within North Cascades National Park,” said Chip Jenkins, superintendent of North Cascades National Park. “Every time you conserve your water usage, that’s not only more clean water for drinking and water for wildlife, but potentially creating more water for clean energy.”

For more information about National Park Week, visit the National Park Service webpage on National Parks Week.

Apr 082010

From Green Right Now Reports

Urban youth around the nation will be breaking ground this spring on gardens of native plant species as part of the National Park Foundation’s First Bloom program. Through First Bloom, students experience national parks and have the opportunity to learn important conservation lessons, including the difference between native and invasive plant species.

Youth groups participating in the program work with park rangers to design and plant their own gardens in national parks. First Bloom connects kids between 4th and 6th grades to nature and national parks. The nationwide program is currently taking place in 26 national parks in partnership with 31 youth groups, primarily local Boys and Girls Clubs, across the country.

“One of the most important things anyone can do for the environment is to connect young people to parks,” Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation, said in a statement. “Kids who are forging connections with the national parks today are likely to have lasting relationships with the parks and the outdoors for their whole lives.”

Parks with upcoming plantings include:

  • Hamilton Grange National Memorial and General Grant National Memorial, NY
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Calif.
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
  • Boston African American National Historic Site, Mass.

The National Park Foundation funded the 2010 First Bloom projects with support from the UPS Foundation, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations through the Yawkey Foundation, and through the support of private citizens and foundations.

Learn more about the First Bloom program at www.first-bloom.org.