Posts Tagged ‘National Park Foundation’

National Park Service and National Park Foundation Suggest 10 Healthy Things to Do During National Park Week April 21-29

National Park Week 2012With nearly 400 national parks – and FREE admission the week of  April 21 – 29, – there are thousands of ways to enjoy this highly anticipated annual event. In fact, National Park Week is the perfect opportunity to active and stay fit.

From hiking to biking to swimming, nature walks, kayaking, or bird watching, there are great outdoor activities in national parks for visitors of all ages. By introducing kids to these majestic places, we give the gift of learning a healthy lifestyle and help guarantee the future of parks for generations to come.

“During National Park Week, stroll a woodland path or around the grounds of a presidential home. Kayak through a mangrove forest or on an urban waterway. All 397 national parks are great places to get some exercise while taking in spectacular scenery or learning something new,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Whether you go to a natural, historical, or recreational site, or an urban, suburban, or rural park, every national park provides a place to exercise both the body and the mind. There really is something for everyone in every national park.”

“National Park Week is the perfect time to experience all that our national parks have to offer,” said Neil Mulholland, President & CEO of the National Park Foundation. “It is also an invitation to join the community of national park supporters. Visit, volunteer or get involved with the Foundation or any one of the local friends groups that support our parks. Together, we can make this National Park Week one to remember.”

Here are 10 great ways to get some exercise and enjoy National Park Week:

Take a Hike
There are 18,600 miles of trails in national parks. Hit the trail for a short hike or a day-long expedition. Cross the Continental Divide on the High Line Trail in Glacier, go vertical on the Moro Rock Trail in Sequoia & Kings Canyon, or tackle a section of the Appalachian Trail. If you’d like to hike with an expert, many parks offer daily ranger-led guided tours, including the Everglades, Jean Lafitte, and Hot Springs.

Dive In
Enjoy 43,000 miles of national park shoreline. Walk on the beach, go for a swim, snorkel an underwater trail in the Virgin Islands, or dive the aquamarine water and fish-bejeweled coral reefs of Biscayne or the kelp forests and sea caves of Channel Islands. Or, take a canoe or kayak ride through Big Cypress to observe manatees and birds.

Go Underground
Travel below the surface and discover the dazzling sights found along more than 900 miles of passageways in caves. Check out Mammoth Cave – the longest cave in the world or the 14-acre Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns. If you are really adventurous, sign up for a spelunking trip.

Sleep Under the Stars
Experience the simple pleasure of an evening campfire, sleep in the great outdoors, and wake up in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the world. Choose your setting – mountain view, ocean view, or even city view. The 12,000 campsites in national parks include spots in New York City and in Boston.

Go For a Ride
Some of the prettiest scenery you’ll ever see is along the 5,450 miles of paved road in national parks. In fact, 1,100 miles are designated parkways designed especially for sightseeing. Just be sure to get out of the car at overlooks or trailheads and stretch your legs. It’s amazing what you will find not far off the road. Wander to a waterfall at Shenandoah or meander through a meadow at Rocky Mountain.

View Wildlife
National parks are the best places to view wildlife in their natural habitats. Don’t get too close but enjoy seeing everything from baby birds to two-ton bison in a park. Watch the strutting age grouse perform its annual courtship dance in Grand Teton or the spring migration of grey whales at Point Reyes. Or, encounter prehistoric wildlife such as a saber tooth cat at Badlands or a Stegosaurus at Dinosaur. There are 233 national parks with preserved fossils, some which date back two billion years.

Be a VIP
Help out as a Volunteer-In-Park on National Volunteer Day on April 21. Participate in the spring planting at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a shoreline clean-up at Golden Gate, or park day at Stones River. Check out a list of volunteer opportunities at http://www.nps.gov/getinvolved/volunteer.htm

Go Green
Take part in Earth Day activities at many national parks. There will 50 exhibiters, food, music, and family activities at John Muir’s birthday celebration at John Muir National Historic Site. Saratoga will host exhibits and an art show featuring pieces made from natural and recycled material. The Grand Canyon will have a variety of interactive exhibits at its largest ever Earth Day event. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial will host an Earth Day Jamboree.

Explore, Learn, Protect
Kids five to 12 years old are encouraged to take part in free Junior Ranger programs in almost every national park. Ask for a Junior Ranger booklet at the visitor center and earn a badge by completing different activities. Many parks will host special events on Junior Ranger Day – April 28.

Take to Two Wheels
One of the most popular things to do in a park is ride a bike. You set your own pace and can easily stop to relax or take in the view when and where you want. One of the newest bike trails was recently built in New River Gorge. More than 1,400 Boy Scouts and leaders volunteered 78,544 hours to construct a 12.8-mile mountain bike trail. Other popular parks for biking include Acadia which has 45 miles of old carriage roads, Canyonlands, home of the 103-mile White Rim Road loop, and the C&O Canal and its 184-mile long towpath.

Share Your Experience
Be sure to share photos, videos, and stories from your national park travels at www.nationalparkweek.org. The site also contains a calendar of events and plenty of information on how to visit and support national parks.

www.nps.gov

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, invite people everywhere to enjoy, explore, learn, share, and give back to America’s nearly 400 national parks during National Park Week 2012.

Celebrating the theme, “Picture Yourself in a National Park,” National Park Week will run from Saturday, April 21 through Sunday, April 29. Throughout the country, visitors can enjoy the beauty and wonder of 84 million acres of the world’s most spectacular scenery, historic places and cultural treasures for FREE!

National parks will mark the annual celebration with special events and activities including Volunteer Day on April 21, Earth Day on April 22, and Junior Ranger Day on April 28. From ranger-led hikes and kayak trips to camping and exploring, park visitors can plan their National Park Week at www.nationalparkweek.org. Discover information about events, special activities for visitors of all ages, how to share your park adventure with other travelers, and how to support the parks.

“America’s national parks have something for everyone,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Take a break and experience something new, enjoy some fresh air, get some exercise, and see where history happened. And, since admission is free to all 397 parks, all week long, National Park Week is a great time to get up, get out, and explore a park.”

“This is our annual celebration of America’s best idea – our national parks,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We are proud to stand with our partners at the National Park Service and encourage people everywhere to enjoy, learn from and support our nation’s greatest treasures.”

www.nps.gov

Washington – This September 24, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, invite Americans to go for a walk, kick a ball, plant a tree, or simply relax in a national park in observance of National Public Lands Day. As part of the 18th annual celebration, the National Park Service will waive all entrance fees and host special events for visitors and volunteers.

“Ranging from the community playground to the world’s first national park, about one third of our country’s land is public space – set aside for all of us to enjoy,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Whether you prefer to lend a hand on a volunteer project or just take it easy, Let’s Move Outside on National Public Lands Day and experience these wonderful places.”

For the largest National Public Lands Day event taking place this year, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation have partnered with Nickelodeon to host the 8th annual Worldwide Day of Play. The flagship Worldwide Day of Play event will take place in Washington, D.C. on the Ellipse in President’s Park, next to the White House. This year’s Worldwide Day of Play will be the biggest yet, with an entire day of physical activities and games for kids and their families to encourage active and healthy lifestyles.

The National Park Service has developed a special Junior Ranger program for the day that will give kids a pedometer and encourage them to walk the length of trails in national parks across the country. National park rangers will also help kids try out a climbing wall and test their speed in a tent-raising race.

Also on September 24, Nickelodeon’s networks and website will go dark from 12 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (ET/PT) in an effort to inspire kids and families to get up and get active. Visit http://www.worldwidedayofplay.com for more information.

In addition to the Worldwide Day of Play activities taking place in  Washington, D.C., National Public Lands Day will be celebrated in national parks coast-to-coast. Here are some great ways to enjoy the day – and the fee free admittance – to all of America’s 395 national parks.

CALIFORNIA: John Muir National Historic Site – Grand opening of the renovated visitor center

COLORADO: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument – No Child Left Inside Day “unplug” and join in fun games and music

HAWAII: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Lei, Hula, and ‘Ukulele Lessons

LOUISIANA: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park – Folklife Demonstrations of Cajun music, dancing, and quilting

MICHIGAN: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Au Sable Day 2011 celebrates the park’s 1874 light station with tours and games

MINNESOTA: Mississippi National River & Recreation Area – Paddleboat RAVE!

MISSISSIPPI: Natchez Trace Parkway – Pioneer Day

TEXAS: Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument – Small Fry Fishing Lessons

VERMONT: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park – Forest Festival Weekend with horse-drawn wagon rides and wood crafts for kids

VIRGINIA: Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and Richmond National Battlefield Park are just two of the Civil War parks featuring living history encampments

National Public Lands Day is the country’s biggest single-day effort to spruce up parks and other open space. Volunteer work projects are planned for every state. There are 70 national parks among the hundreds of sites hosting events. Sign up and join 170,000 people who are going to come out and help care for the land that day. A complete list can be found at http://www.publiclandsday.org. Every volunteer will receive a voucher for free entrance to a national park on a future day of their choosing.

FLORIDA: Help remove marine debris at Biscayne National Park

GEORGIA: Restoration work on historic homes at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

GUAM: Plant native seeds at War in the Pacific National Historical Park

IOWA: Reconstruct an 81-acre tallgrass prairie at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

PENNSYLVANIA: Plant flowers at the Liberty Bell Center

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites — all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and  all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us at www.nationalparks.org.

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