Posts Tagged ‘recreation areas’

Share the Experience LogoAs RVers we take photos to document our travels. And because we travel to some  beautiful places, we sometimes take some beautiful photographs. If you have a few photos you think are extra beatiful here’s an opportunity to show them off and maybe win a prize.

The Department of the Interior announced the start of the 2013 “Share the Experience” contest, giving amateur photographers the chance to join the ranks of Ansel Adams, Thomas Moran, and others who have found recognition for their photographs of the nation’s public lands.

The “Share the Experience” photo contest showcases our nation’s public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and recreation areas – and draws entries from all across the United States. It is the largest national park and public land photo contest for amateur photographers.

“Photography has the power to make the great outdoors accessible so that we all can see some of the most beautiful places in the world through the eyes of people like Ansel Adams,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “This is a fun competition that helps strengthen the connection between Americans and their public lands, and I look forward to seeing the submissions from across the country.”

This year, a new Let’s Move Outside! photo category will encourage families to explore the outdoors and lead active lifestyles. Let’s Move Outside! is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to raise a healthier generation of kids.

The winning photograph will appear on the 2015 America the Beautiful pass for entrance to 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and national forests. All entries have the chance to be featured on the Interior Department’s popular Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Prizes provided by the National Park Foundation, Active Network, Air Wick and Historic Hotels of America include a $15,000 cash prize, a Columbia backpack, a pass to the national parks and other federal lands, and other items for the grand prize winner. Second and third place winners, as well as 7 Honorable Mention winners, will also receive prizes.

The “Share the Experience” begins May 10, 2013 and runs through December 31, 2013. Amateur photographers can participate by uploading photos on www.sharetheexperience.org.

“Share the Experience” is sponsored by Active Network, Air Wick, Historic Hotels of America and the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

To view the 2012 contest winners as wells as the contest rules and a complete list of prizes, please see www.sharetheexperience.org.

Idaho State Park PassportIdaho’s new $10 annual “Passport” to all 30 of its state parks and recreation areas will go on sale Monday, three months earlier than planned.

The new Passport replaces the current $40 annual pass, and will be available at all Idaho county Department of Motor Vehicle offices, where, if they choose, Idahoans can add on the $10 pass when they register their vehicles each year.

“It’s a bargain any way you look at it,” said state Parks Director Nancy Merrill, who initiated the program as part of a big push to make Idaho’s parks system self-sustaining, as its annual state funding has dropped from $6.2 million to $1.3 million.

Out-of-state residents still will pay $40 for the passes; a single entry fee at an Idaho state park is $5.

The passes are non-transferable window stickers, so each is good for only one vehicle. Idahoans also will have the option of buying a two-year Passport for $20.

More Information…

The number of camping and lodging reservations made between 8 a.m. and midnight yesterday was a new record high, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

On Tuesday, July 26, the first day the reservation system was open following the government shutdown, some 4,140 reservations were made for a total of 11,489 nights of camping and lodging.

“We had 162 reservations in the first five minutes,” said Bill Anderson, reservation system manager for the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails. “It was by far the busiest day in the history of our reservation system. The previous all-time high was 1,761 reservations on June 2, 2008, the date when Minnesota state parks began allowing reservations a full year in advance (up from the previous policy of 90 days in advance maximum).

Approximately three-fourths of the reservations made yesterday were for overnight stays in 2011, the rest were for 2012. The highest number of reservations were for Itasca (379 reservations), Lake Carlos (278), Wild River (169), Sibley (167) and Bear Head Lake (160) state parks. Others with more than 100 reservations included Temperance River, Tettegouche, Jay Cooke, Gooseberry Falls, Forestville/Mystery Cave, Whitewater, Split Rock Lighthouse, William O’Brien, McCarthy Beach and Father Hennepin state parks.

All but two of the 74 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas have reopened following the shutdown. Camden and St. Croix state parks remain closed due to extensive storm damage.

Standard campsites can be reserved for $12 to $20 a night (plus $5 for electric hook-ups), not including vehicle permits, which are required to enter Minnesota state parks. Vehicle permits are $5 for one night or $25 for a 12-month permit providing unlimited access to all 74 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.

Due to the high call volume the reservation system has been experiencing since yesterday, the DNR recommends making reservations online at stayatmnparks.com, if possible. For those who prefer to speak with an operator, reservations can be made at 866-857-2757.

“Reservations are recommended but not essential,” Anderson said. “Up to thirty percent of campsites at Minnesota state parks are nonreservable and available to campers on a first-come, first-served basis.”

More information, including descriptions of each park’s scenery, wildlife and recreational opportunities, is available by calling 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367 or online.

Some parks have online virtual tours, which allow visitors to preview the park before their trip.

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