BRING ON SPRING!

The last fleeting reminders of winter are now melting away, giving way to signs of new life. Buds are popping up on tree limbs, flowers are pushing through the once frozen ground, and the birds are resuming their morning songs – everything around us is begging to bring on spring!

As you shake off the cabin fever and welcome warmer and longer days, get your calendars out and start planning some exciting outdoor excursions. Spring is a perfect time to explore any of our more than 400 national parks! If you need some help brainstorming ideas, we’ve listed a few neat possibilities below.  

Work up a sweat with a seven-mile hike at Muir Woods National Monument (CA)
Get your hiking shoes on, pack a lunch and water, and join a brisk seven-mile hike! You’ll get to trek through the redwoods, hike from the Bootjack Trail to the TCC Trail, then back downhill to the Ben Johnson Trail before returning back into Muir Woods.

Develop your canoe or kayaking abilities at Biscayne National Park (FL)
Practice makes perfect! Here, you can join a ranger for an afternoon of fun as you refine your paddling skills within the beauty of this national park.

Look for signs of spring at Fire Island National Seashore (NY)
Grab your binoculars and walk along the shore, through the swale to the breach at Old Inlet. Along the way, you’ll be able to spy signs of the changing season!

Take in the town at sundown at the National Mall & Memorial Parks (DC)
You may have seen the memorials by day, but have you ever experienced them under the night sky? Join this ranger-led tour of D.C.’s most famous memorial parks after sundown.

Observe the diversity of bird life at Padre Island National Seashore (TX)
Nearly half of all bird species in North America can be found at Padre Island National Seashore! Join expert birding guides on this 2-to-3 hour driving tour of the park. Be sure to bring your binoculars!

Go for a stroll at White Sands National Monument (NM)
Take a gentle stroll (less than one mile) through the dunes at sunset. This nature walk gives you the chance to see the intriguing geology, plants, and animals as the sun sets on White Sands.

Discover the art of basket weaving at Tumacácori National Historical Park (AZ)
Learn how the O’odham men carefully constructed their functional baskets out of looped baling wire. You can also enjoy many other cultural exhibitions held at this park, which is one of our American Latino Heritage Fund sites, including a tortilla-making demonstration!

Regardless of what level of activity you choose, there are countless opportunities for you to enjoy spring in your national parks. For more springtime inspiration, click here.
NEW THIS MONTH
Go Wild for
National Park Week!
See BEARS and Support National Parks! Learning on Ice:
Parks Climate Challenge

Go Wild for National Park Week!

National Park Week kicks off exactly one month from today with the theme “National Park Week: Go Wild!” and we invite you to join us in celebrating all that America’s more than 400 national parks have to offer.

From culture and history, to wildlife and iconic landscapes, our National Park System has something for everyone, so get out there and go wild about our national parks!

Looking for some ideas? Check out these suggestions:

Enjoy fee-free days in our national parks on April 19 and 20, and celebrate Earth Day on April 22.

See the new Disneynature BEARS film April 18-24 and Disneynature will make a donation on your behalf to the National Park Foundation to protect wildlife & wild places!

Gaze up at the tallest trees in Sequoia National Park in California.

Walk in the footsteps of U.S. presidents at places like Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in New York.

Watch the American and Mexican flags fly together at the Chamizal National Memorial (one of our American Latino Heritage Fund sites) in Texas and recall the historic treaty that ended a century-long dispute between the two nations.

Feel the strength of the ordinary women and men who courageously stood up for equal educational opportunities at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas and Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas, both of which are African American Experience Fund sites.

Challenge your mind by playing national park trivia with Junior Rangers at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio.

For more ways to celebrate National Park Week, visit nationalparkweek.org.

See BEARS and Support National Parks!

On April 18, Disneynature will release their new Alaskan True Life Adventure, BEARS, which showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. For every ticket sold during BEARS Opening Week, April 18-24, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s National Park System. Watch the trailer now.

Get your individual tickets starting April 4! Be sure to sign up for an email reminder so you don’t miss out. Know any educators or youth group leaders? Group tickets are available today so that a class or youth group can go see BEARS and experience a real bear adventure on the big screen. To order 20 tickets or more, call 1-888-DISNEY6.

To help educate youth about bears and other wildlife, Disneynature has also released a FREE Educator’s Guide. The Disneynature BEARS Educator’s Guide includes nearly 100 pages of lessons and activities targeted to grades 2 through 6. The lessons are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, National Science Standards, and common core Language Arts and Math Standards. Download your copy today.

Learning on Ice: Parks Climate Challenge

The Parks Climate Challenge program (PCC) trains teachers how to educate students about climate change using national parks as classrooms. The program also brings students to national parks throughout the school year to observe impacts of climate change on our natural, cultural, and historical resources, and learn what national park rangers are doing to study and mitigate these effects.  

For a second year as a PCC grantee, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is teaching high school and middle school students about the connection between culture and climate change through field work, conversations with global climate experts, and local observations. Students and park rangers discussed changing air and water temperatures, ice cover, and water levels in the Great Lakes, including Lake Superior.  

This year the early onset of cold weather led to early and extensive ice cover on Lake Superior allowing over-ice access to the ice caves in the park's mainland unit. Two of the PCC teachers recently took advantage of these unique conditions to take their classes on field trips to the caves. For most of those students, it was their first visit to the park. The teachers were thrilled and the nearly 50 students had an amazing experience.

To learn more about PCC, visit parksclimatechallenge.org and to learn more about other NPF programs and how you can support them, click here.

 

NEWS, NOTES & UPDATES

Donor Spotlight: The Archer Family

Every year, John Archer takes his family to Mount Rainier National Park. Along with his wife, Ona, and their four children, they hike to Carter Falls and spend the night at Cougar Rock Campground in view of the majestic beauty of Mount Rainier.  It’s an experience of renewal that has made Mount Rainier his favorite national park for many years and led the Archer family to join the National Park Foundation’s Stewardship Circle.

In addition to their annual adventure to Mount Rainier, the Archers plan to visit Olympic National Park  for the first time this year. In 2015, just a year before the National Park System celebrates its centennial, they’re considering a visit to Glacier National Park and Yosemite National Park. In each park, they will continue a long-standing tradition of having their national park passports stamped.  According to John, “It’s our family journal.”

John and his family decided to support the National Park Foundation this year because they wanted to give something back to the national parks which have given them so much through the years. “They are the canvas that our family memories are written on,” says John. “The parks should be around today, tomorrow, and forever.” Along with a matching gift from the company he works for, the Archer family's gift will help to preserve these natural and cultural treasures, connect people to their parks, and inspire a new generation of enthusiasts.

John doesn’t have to go far to be reminded of the importance of national parks. In his nightstand he keeps a box that contains all the badges that his children earned as Junior Rangers.“I’m glad our kids have learned that parks have a reason to be set aside.”

if you would like to join the Archer family in giving back to your national parks, join the Stewardship Circle by clicking here.

Inspired by Nature

The National Park Foundation welcomes the makers of ARM & HAMMER™ as a new proud supporter of America’s national parks. Through its new Clean Scentsations™ collection, featuring vibrant fresh scents inspired by our national parks, ARM & HAMMER™ will support NPF’s vital preservation and conservation efforts across the National Park System. Check out the three new scents inspired by the pristine waters of Glacier Bay, Yosemite’s wildflowers, and Acadia’s majestic twilight sky. To learn more about the Clean Scentsations™ collection from ARM & HAMMER™, click here.

Bo is Back and He Brought a Friend!

America’s First Dogs, Bo and Sunny, have their very own White House Easter egg! This new, limited-edition commemorative egg comes in a beautiful purple color with the First Dogs’ signatures (paw prints) stamped on the back.  

And since the Bo and Sunny egg is included as part of the 2014 White House Easter egg commemorative set, you’ll also receive the four official White House Easter eggs – each in a unique bold color – featuring the official White House Easter Egg Roll logo and the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady. Crafted from FSC-certified U.S. hardwood and packaged in a delightful SFI-certified gift box, the commemorative eggs are both beautiful and eco-friendly!

To order your very own commemorative egg set, click here!

The White House is also inviting all elementary and middle school students to submit poster designs for the 2014 Easter Egg Roll! Upload your submission here.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership

Up the Hudson River, at what was once a favorite picnic spot of the Roosevelts, close to FDR’s childhood home, lies Val-Kill: A place of both inspiration and community, envisioned and created by Eleanor Roosevelt, her husband, and friends. Together at Val-Kill they created jobs, steered party politics, and advanced social reform. Throughout Eleanor’s lifetime, Val-Kill served as a gathering place for those who actively shared her ideals. Today, it inspires the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership, the Friends Group to Val-Kill, the only national historic site dedicated to a First Lady.  

Founded by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1998 as part of Save America’s Treasures, the partnership (formerly known as Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt) has already had a busy 2014. The partnership announced a new name and logo (see it here), created a new exhibit illuminating Eleanor’s Val-Kill legacy, and is anticipating a surge in interest and visitation thanks to the upcoming Ken Burns documentary on Eleanor.  This May, the partnership will celebrate the new exhibits in true Eleanor style with a picnic on the grounds of Val-Kill, bringing to life once again this place of community, connection, and purpose.  

Learn more about the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership, and the place that she loved most in the world, by visiting the partnership’s website or Facebook page. 

Experience America

Some of the greatest treasures in the world are in your own backyard. There are 84 million acres of iconic, treasured, and sacred places protected in America’s over 400 national parks – and it all belongs to you. Feeling intimidated? Make sure you don’t miss a thing on your next trip by reserving a perfectly planned GoParks! adventure from Globus. Nobody can show you the wonders of America's national parks like Globus. And today, nobody is more committed to keeping them wondrous, either. When you book a GoParks! Tour, Globus will make a significant contribution—at no additional cost to you—to the National Park Foundation. Get out and explore! Book today! 

Have a Spring Fling With Your Parks

Spring is the season for celebrating life and love!

Everything in nature comes alive as it sheds the winter blanket and brings forth lush vegetation and new life. There’s a reason spring is one of the most popular seasons for celebrating love; we are reintroduced to the beauty of our natural world and reminded of the circle of life. There is something deeply romantic about experiencing parks when they are buzzing with the sounds of animals courting each other and bursting with flowers and greenery.

Whether you are celebrating a new or long-time love, be sure to grab your sweetheart and head to the national parks to experience this wondrous time of year. Our free I Heart Parks guide is packed full of thrilling ideas for wooing your paramour. Need help figuring out where to go and what to do once you’re there? Then download the guide today!

Make your next national park adventure better than ever! Download a FREE copy of our new Owner's Guide today!

National Park Foundation
National Park Service
Flight 93 National Memorial
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The French called it les mauvaises terres à traverser, what do we call this national park, established in 1939?

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Freda Scatchard, from Norristown, PA, who knew that Mound City Group National Monument in Ohio is an ancient Native American burial ground.

Way to go, Freda!

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