celebrate america's heroes this memorial day

Memorial Day is an incredible opportunity to spend time with friends and family, enjoy a barbeque or picnic, and to reflect on the lessons we can learn from Americans who have made great sacrifices and performed historic deeds for the benefit of our nation and its people. And there is no better place to do all of these things than your national parks.

Twenty-nine of the 397 national parks have been designated as national memorials. From Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota to Chamizal in downtown El Paso, national memorials are special places found across the country in our urban neighborhoods and rural landscapes. Use the National Park Foundation’s new and improved “Find A Park” online search tool to find a national memorial near you and visit it Memorial Day weekend.

Members of the National Park Foundation community like you have a special connection to one of our most recent national memorials: the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania. Through your efforts and donations, the first phase of the Memorial was completed and dedicated last September and the National Park Foundation is working hard to complete our campaign this summer. And we need your help. Donate today and help us honor the 40 America heroes who bravely gave of themselves to save countless others.

Take a moment to remember those who have given of themselves to make a better world for us today, and enjoy a memorable weekend in your national parks.

NEW THIS MONTH
An Evening of Remembrance National Parks Need Your Vote Disney Helps Connect
Kids to Parks

An Evening of Remembrance

On the evening of Tuesday, May 15, nearly 400 guests joined the National Park Foundation and co-hosts President Bill Clinton, President and Mrs. George W. Bush and Speaker John Boehner at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. for “An Evening of Remembrance” honoring the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who fought back against their hijackers on September 11, 2001. The exemplary event brought in approximately two million dollars leaving eight million dollars in funding to be raised to complete the Shanksville, Pennsylvania memorial.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator, David Gregory presided as the master of ceremonies and country-music artist Vince Gill performed musical tributes, including his emotional hit “Go Rest High On that Mountain”, which played while images of the 40 passengers and crew scrolled on the 40 foot screen behind the stage. A powerful video was also played, recounting the moving story of the Flight 93 Memorial. In addition to remarks made by all of the esteemed co-hosts, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation, Neil Mulholland and Chairman of the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign, Chris Sullivan spoke to the assembled guests.

For pictures and video from the event, please visit www.nationalparks.org and for more information on the Flight 93 National Memorial and how to support the campaign, please go to www.honorflight93.org.

National Parks Need Your Vote

This summer, one of our national parks could be named “America’s Favorite Park” and win a $100,000 recreation grant from the Coca-Cola America Is Your Park campaign. And more than one park will win! Second- and third-place parks will receive $50,000 and $25,000 grants, respectively. Also, one lucky park will be chosen, at random, from the remaining top 25 spots on the leader board to win a $15,000 grant. Voting is easy! Beginning May 23rd, use your home computer or smartphone to vote as many times as you can. And while you’re on livepositively.com, you can also learn how you can earn 100 votes each time you “check in” from the park!

Disney Helps Connect Kids to Parks

During National Park Week, NPF was thrilled to announce a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to help connect kids and families to nature through America’s national parks. Disney’s generous investment will go specifically to the “Ticket to Ride” and “America’s Best Idea” programs, which will help kids explore the outdoors by providing transportation to and supporting community projects at national parks around the country.

In addition to the grant, Disney’s Friends for Change – a program that inspires kids and families to make a positive impact on their world by helping people and the planet – developed a public service announcement featuring Disney Channel star Caroline Sunshine (“Shake it Up”) encouraging kids and families to explore the outdoors, whether at a local, state, or national park. Disney Friends for Change also created an online action kit that helps families plan a park visit in four easy steps and provides ideas on park activities ranging from hikes to wildlife exploration.

For some great resources as you are planning your next kid-friendly park adventure take a look at our Get Outdoors Action Kit!

 

NEWS, NOTES & UPDATES

Plant–A–Tree for Flight 93

The Flight 93 National Memorial kicked off its planned reforestation effort over four days during National Park Week. A group of approximately 600 volunteers under the guidance of tree-planting experts and professional landscapers planted nearly 15,000 seedlings – a mixture of a dozen native conifer and deciduous species. The reforestation effort, part of the Memorial’s overall design landscape, will ultimately include approximately 150,000 trees. These plantings will grow to form an essential windbreak to protect trees planted in nearby memorial groves.

The Flight 93 National Memorial thanks GenOn Energy and BMW of North America for sponsoring this event. Other partners who joined with NPF and the National Park Service to make this inaugural effort possible include:  the Office of Surface Mining (DOI), Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Bureau of Forestry, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, the Davey Tree Expert Company, Green Forest Works, the American Chestnut Foundation, WITF public radio and the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial.

To learn ways you can support the Flight 93 National Memorial, click here.

National Park Week Recap!

From April 21 - 29, we joined together to celebrate National Park Week! As part of the week’s festivities, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation teamed up, encouraging everyone to “Picture Yourself in a Park.” For 9 days, our nearly 400 national parks opened their doors - for FREE - to inspire first time and long time visitors alike. Together, Americans everywhere were encouraged to come visit, get outdoors, and embrace a healthy lifestyle, while also embracing the importance of keeping our parks protected and preserved. 

We hope everyone enjoyed National Park Week 2012 and urge visitors to share their park photos, videos and stories with the parks community on the newly redesigned National Park Foundation website.

Parks Climate Challenge

"One of the most precious values of the national parks is their ability to teach us about ourselves and how we relate to the natural world. This important role may prove invaluable in the near future as we strive to understand and adapt to a changing climate."  – NPS Director, Jon Jarvis

The National Park Foundation’s Parks Climate Challenge program 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 various national park sites are doing to mitigate those effects. Last year nearly 80 teachers from around the country introduced their students to climate related science lessons such as the role of animals, plants, and humans in the carbon cycle. In 2012, eight national park units from Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin to the iconic Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming will train nearly 150 teachers and bring students back to the parks to learn how cultural lifestyles, such as maple sugaring and ice fishing, are threatened by climate change, and how to measure sea level rise and calculate a location's coastal vulnerability.

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

Donor Spotlight: Patrick & Beverly Van den Bossche

Patrick and Beverly are avid national park enthusiasts and have been supporters of the National Park Foundation for more than a decade. In fact, they are such park lovers that they recently participated in an NPF ParkVenture day hike in Shenandoah National Park in the pouring rain and will be joining us on Expedition Katmai National Park in Alaska this July!

When asked about their deep appreciation for the parks, this is what Patrick and Beverly shared: “We support NPF because we want to help preserve both the physical and spiritual character that’s inherent to each unique park environment for future generations, while allowing the current generation to enjoy and learn about some of the most fascinating places on earth. One of the many things that we love about our journeys through the various parks is the mentally cleansing effect of these unspoiled spaces as we make our way through them on foot. Such opportunities to reflect on our lives and truly enjoy the gifts of nature can only be obtained through visiting parks like those within the National Park system. We are therefore honored to be able to contribute to the preservation and enjoyment of these natural treasures.”

We are so grateful to Patrick and Beverly for their long standing commitment as members of the Stewardship Circle. If you would like to learn more about becoming a member of the Stewardship Circle click here.

Travel Channel Showcases National Parks

Beginning Memorial Day and continuing through September as part of its Destination Summer campaign, Travel Channel will feature 30 hours of television programming that puts the spotlight on America’s national parks. Bringing our national parks into America’s living rooms (and computers and mobile devices) through this Summer partnership with Travel Channel, we hope to inspire viewers to plan their own national park adventures. Continue to check www.nationalparks.org and www.travelchannel.com or ways your viewing and participation can help maximize Travel Channel’s support of the National Park Foundation’s mission.

Peace Cereal Gives Back

Through its "Peace Giving Back Program", Peace Cereal has partnered with the National Park Foundation for the months of April, May and June 2012 and will provide the National Park Foundation with a contribution from every Peace Cereal item purchased. However, Peace Cereal would like to do even more with a pre-summer bonus – in addition to the existing contribution, Peace Cereal will give the National Park Foundation an additional $1.00 for all Peace coupons downloaded and printed from May 20 -26th from the Peace Giving Back program. Click here to get your coupon!

Now you can enjoy an all natural, Peace Cereal while helping keep our parks beautiful and clean! To learn more about Peace Cereal, go here.

Claim Your Virtual Inch of the Earth and Support
America's National Parks

Do you have a favorite spot in one of America's nearly 400 national parks? The top of Half Dome in Yosemite or the Kaibab Trail where it meets the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon or perhaps another memorable place? Now, you can own a virtual inch of your favorite places throughout the world and support America's National Parks at the same time. Through MyInchOfTheEarth.com, a website developed by TerraYebo, Inc. that allows people to claim any virtual piece of the earth while supporting worldwide causes and post a picture and story to help explain why the place is so important to them. For each inch purchased within a national park unit, a portion of the proceeds goes to the National Park Foundation. Users can also select NPF as the beneficiary of other inches purchased outside of national park units, create a memorial or give the claimed inch as a gift, and share their exclusive inches and posts across more than 300 other social media options. Each inch purchased is authenticated and rewarded with a personalized GoodDEED™ for the selected latitude/longitude coordinates. Claim your virtual inch today at www.MyInchOfTheEarth.com!

Friends of Cape Cod National Seashore

The stark beauty of Cape Cod National Seashore in winter belies the busy planning of the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore (FOCCNS) for a summer long celebration of their 25th anniversary supporting the park. Long committed to the preservation, conservation and restoration of Cape Cod’s natural, historical and cultural treasures, the Friend’s board – comprised of “natives” and “wash-a-shores” – all share a singular passion for the park that President Kennedy, a summer resident, established in 1961.  As part of the Park Partners Project, FOCCNS has been planning for its 25th anniversary, unveiling a new logo, getting new members and planning terrific summer activities. “This summer we will celebrate with residents and visitors 25 years of Friends support for this incredible park.” Dick Spokes, board president, further explains, “The sea shore defines who we are, how we live and why we support the National Park Service’s stewardship of this incredible resource." "Friend” the Friends on Facebook or visit their website to learn more about plans for a summer of fun in the sun!  

EXPLORE YOUR PARKS!

Make your national park experience better than ever! Download your FREE Owner's Guide to America's National Parks today!

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This Is Your Land
THIS MONTH'S QUIZ

Commemorating an epic battle in the War of 1812, which national memorial interprets the lasting peace between the US and Canada over the past 200 years?
Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, John Kyle, from West Chester, PA, who knew that 50 years ago this past April our founding fathers established Hamilton Grange National Memorial.

Way to go John!

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