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
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.