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Whether you enjoy spending your days under the summer sun or searching for ways to stay cool, the national parks across America are sure to add some excitement to your summer plans.  From the sunshine capes to breezy mountain peaks, the national parks are hosting events for every type of summer activity. Here is a list of some of our favorite summer national park events:

ARKANSASBuffalo National River – From canoeing to a nearby campground to hiking to one of the many prehistoric sites, Buffalo National River offers activities for any area of interest. Every Sunday, be sure to participate in a ranger-led boat tour through the various aquatic habitats of Buffalo. 

CALIFORNIA Lassen Volcanic National Park – Instead of spending your summer poolside at home, visit the boiling pools inside the volcano at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

summer_in_the_funMASSACHUSETTS Cape Cod National Seashore – Spend your Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons soaking up the rays by canoeing through Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh to explore the beauty and diversity that remains in these protected waters.

MICHIGAN Sleeping Bears Dune National Lakeshore – Every Wednesday, feel the sand between your toes as you learn the importance and history of these rolling dunes.

NORTH CAROLINA Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Every Tuesday, take advantage of the cool summer mornings of Cape Hatteras and participate in a ranger-led morning walk to witness some of the cape’s most unique birds.

TENNESSEE Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Take a break from the summer heat and take a summer stroll through the cool terrain of the Smokies to discover why this famous mountain range is unique in the summer.

TEXAS Padre Island National Seashore – Explore Padre Island’s 70 miles of protected coastline to witness the habitat of the endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle as well as learn the craft of sand sculpting on July 21 and August 4.

WISCONSIN Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Plan your summer getaway to one of the 21 islands and rent a paddle any day of the week to explore the majestic lighthouses that tower over these beautiful beaches.

Visit the National Park Service website to find more summer events near you!
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Our National Park Rangers L.L. Bean's Million Moment Mission Help When Our Parks Need It Most

Our National Park Rangers

nick_hallThey come from across the country, from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and experience dedicated to one mission – protecting the very best America has to offer. They teach us. They guide us.  They keep us safe. They are called Rangers.

This month, we take a moment to honor our National Park Service Rangers and all NPS employees. Thanks to them we are able to celebrate and experience 84 million acres of this nation’s most spectacular scenery, historic treasures and cultural shrines. They stand as the guardians of America’s best idea – protecting the places we love and the people that visit them. They go into harms way – fighting forest fires, performing rescues, protecting the public – so we can safely experience our nation’s nearly 400 national parks.

Last month we lost one of our beloved Rangers – Nick Hall. He, like so many other National Park Service employees, was doing his job to help others – performing a rescue operation on Emmons Glacier at Mount Rainier National Park when he fell and was tragically killed. His death reminds us what our Rangers do for us every day. Now we can give something back. 

The National Park Foundation has established a memorial fund for Ranger Hall at Please consider a gift and join us in honoring the men and women we call National Park Service Rangers. 

L.L. Bean's Million Moment Mission

LLBeanL.L. Bean has a long history of supporting national parks. This year, in celebration of its 100th anniversary, L.L. Bean has created the Million Moment Mission to provide a grand total of $1 million to support the National Park Foundation’s America’s Best Idea program. This funding will allow children from all across America, the ability to explore the national parks for educational and recreational experiences. For the remainder of the year, L.L. Bean will donate $1 to the National Park Foundation every time you share an outdoor moment, whether it be through posting a photo or tweet, sharing a story, or even “liking” their page on Facebook. As of now, nearly 800,000 personal national park memories have been shared!
To share your memory, click here.

Help When Our Parks Need It Most

yosemiteSummer is one of the busiest seasons for our national parks and no matter how careful we are, the onslaught of visitors means more work to restore trails, protect endangered plants and animals, and minimize the impact of cars and buses. That’s why before the end of summer, we need to raise $250,000 in support for our parks, and there is no better time to help than now!  Every donation made to NPF before Labor Day will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000!  Give today and see your support for our national parks doubled

Help now, when our parks need it most.


Fan Friday Is Back!

fan_fridayAre you a trivia connoisseur? Take a break from the summer heat and show off your knowledge of our nation’s national parks by answering NPF’s weekly “Fan Friday” trivia question.

Every Friday through August 31st, NPF will release a new national park trivia question, and every fan that answers correctly will be entered to win the weekly prize pack. Prizes include all types of NPF gear as well as an “America the Beautiful” national park pass. At the end of the summer, NPF will select a grand prize winner who will receive a once-in-a-lifetime houseboat adventure in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provided by Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas!

Join the fun at today!

NPF Comes To Citi Open Tennis Tournament in DC!

Heads up tennis fans! Washington, DC’s Rock Creek Park will be the site of the Citi Open tennis tournament on July 28-August 5.  NPF will have an exhibit space throughout the tournament and we’d love for our fans to stop by and say hi. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for live updates from the tournament.

Kick Off The School Year In A Park

assateagueWhat is more exciting to a kid than starting off the school year with a field trip? Despite evaporating school budgets, this fall, more than 30,000 lucky students will experience field trips to the ultimate recreational and educational playgrounds – our national parks. 35 national park sites from Maine to Hawaii will host kids on a variety of activities through the National Park Foundation’s Ticket to Ride program, made possible through support from DISNEY. These grants will give 250 Maryland high schoolers, who have never seen the ocean, the chance to explore Assateague Island National Seashore and become more science literate through research and service-learning projects. 1,400 third graders from South Carolina will visit Congaree National Park to participate in standards-based art lessons, science experiments, and nature hikes connected to earth science. And at Lava Beds National Monument, 720 California students will enjoy guided geology tours to witness first-hand the geologic features created by volcanic eruptions over the last half-million years! We can’t think of a more exciting way to start off the year than with these learning adventures, which are sure to leave students wanting to know more.

To find out how you can help overcome the largest barrier to connecting youth with national parks – lack of transportation – by supporting the Ticket to Ride program, click here.

Teen Ambassdors Explore Voyageurs National Park

voyageurs_national_parkA five hour drive north of the Twin Cities, Voyageurs National Park – whose 30 lakes and many islands lie on the southern tip of the Canadian Shield – was created in 1975 at the behest and hard work of the founding members of Voyageurs National Park Association. Started in 1965 to advocate for the creation, protection and preservation of the park, VNPA is also working to grow awareness and appreciation for this water-based park with the creation of trip guides, volunteer opportunities and a pilot program engaging the next generation of park stewards.  The glacier-carved lakes and islands, once plied by the French Canadian fur traders – the Voyageurs – are now being explored once again by VNPA’s Teen Ambassadors. High school students from both the local communities and the Twin Cities will learn to camp, paddle and share their insights on how the park service can better connect with their generation. In the fall the Ambassadors will visit area middle schools to share more about their experience at the park. 

To learn more about this and other initiatives, visit VNPA’s website or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Celebrate And Support American Latino Heritage

ALHFDid you know that the Latino community accounts for approximately 54 million people in the American population, yet Latinos represent less than 13% of national park visitors?  The National Park Foundation’s American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF) is working to improve that statistic by raising funds to preserve and celebrate the cultural, economic and civic contributions of Latinos to the American story as told through the national parks system. 

This summer ALHF has launched a series of prominent efforts to improve the representation of Latino heritage in, visitors to, and long-term stewardship of America’s national parks.  They included participation in the National Council of La Raza Annual Conference in which ALHF hosted a lively discussion with prominent Latino leaders; the launch of the “American Latino Heritage Road Trip” in which ALHF, through a partnership with Hispanicize, sent five influential Latino bloggers on the road to discover and chronicle Latino contributions throughout the country (you can follow their journey on Facebook and Twitter, and by using the hashtag #LatinoHeritage); and by funding the a statewide youth summit through a $25,000 grant to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, that engaged young people and their teachers in Washington state’s rich Hispanic and Latino heritage.

Learn more, get involved and support the American Latino Heritage Fund by visiting

Happy Trails

happy_trailsMake this summer one to remember by exploring your national parks! Download the FREE National Park Foundation Owner’s Guide, Happy Trails: 25 Unforgettable National Park Hikes, filled with descriptions and insider recommendations on trails and treks for all ages, and ability levels. The guide also provides general hiking tips, as well as the inside scoop on exploring the diverse landscapes these parks have to offer. Whether you are an avid trekker or just bought your first pair of hiking boots, this guide is guaranteed to prepare you for a memorable hike through these cherished parks!  

Share Your Park Photos And Win Big!

photo_contestHave some great national park photos from your summer adventures? Enter them in the 2012 Share the Experience photo contest! The annual contest, sponsored by the National Park Foundation and Active Network with support from our media partner, Destination America, is the largest national park and public land photo contest for amateur photographers.

This year, in addition to a new look and feel, there are even more opportunities to win! The three top winners will be awarded CASH prizes and the grand prize winner will have their photo showcased on the 2014 Annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass! Winners in other categories, such as Fan Favorite, Wildlife or Adventure, will receive hotel stays from Historic Hotels of America. In addition, weekly winners will be selected.

Don't miss out, enter your photos today!

Want an unforgettable national park adventure? Download your FREE copy of Owner's Guide today!

National Park Foundation
National Park Service
Flight 93 National Memorial
This Is Your Land

Initially hired as a Yellowstone "gamekeeper," who is now known as the first-ever National Park Ranger?

Submit Your Answer Here


And congratulations to last month's winner, Michael Rahn, from McLean, VA who knew that fifty years ago, one of America's greatest conservation presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, was honored by the creation of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS and Sagamore Hill NHS in New York.

Way to go Michael!

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You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world's most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites -
all protected in America's nearly 400 national parks. Founded 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 help connect you and all Americans
to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us - This Is Your Land.

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