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Tomorrow we will celebrate one of our nation’s most magical events and a national park tradition – the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Join us!  Tune-in on December 1st starting at 4:30pm ET at thenationaltree.org to see the entire show LIVE including the exclusive pre-show!  Also, check your local listings to watch the show throughout December on public television. 

Hosted by television and radio personality Carson Daly, the event will feature performances by platinum selling band OneRepublic, Nickelodeon stars Big Time Rush, country music star Rodney Atkins, six-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius and British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. The evening will also feature a special appearance by Kermit the Frog, star of The Muppets, along with several other special guests including of course, President Obama and the First Family!  

Presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony marks the opening of a four-week holiday celebration iin our nation’s capital.  Originally started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, this year’s ceremony marks the 89th National Christmas Tree Lighting.  Interested in knowing more?  Check out thenationaltree.org to discover everything you’d want to know about this very special national park tradition.

Also, please join us in thanking those who made this year’s show possible including the premier sponsor of the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety organization. Other event supporters include GE Lighting, The Coca-Cola Company, Hargrove Inc., Nicolas Holiday Inc., Amtrak, CORT, Guest Services Inc., Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC Downtown, Hudler Carolina Tree Farms, Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Performance Video Systems, W Washington DC and the Willard InterContinental Washington DC.

Give the Gift of Parks   Holiday in the
National Parks
  Donor Spotlight: The Coca-Cola Company   NPF Holiday Gift Guide

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. www.nationalparks.org

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Give the Gift of the Parks this Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again! Are you looking for a perfect gift for your friends and family?

This year some amazing projects have been happening throughout the national park system, from the kick-off of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, to the Elwha River restoration project in Olympic National Park, to the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Flight 93 National Memorial, to the most recent establishment of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, the 397th unit in the National Park System. You can celebrate this year’s accomplishments and share the gift of the national parks this holiday season! Make a donation online to the National Park Foundation on behalf of your loved ones and you will receive a special printable certificate that you can present as that one of a kind gift this season. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your gift to NPF, the only national charity that directly supports the national parks, will make a difference in preserving these irreplaceable places. If you make your gift before December 31, it will be matched by our generous donor Roxanne Quimby, up to $75,000!

Thank you for your continuing support of America’s national parks.


Holiday in the Parks

Each year, the holiday season begins in a national park: Washington, DC’s President’s Park with the National Christmas Tree Lighting.  However, in addition to this 89 year-old tradition, there are a plethora of outstanding national park events visitors around the country to participate in—here are just a few of the holiday festivities to check out in your neck of the woods this season. 

Alaska - Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
December 2, 2011, join in the holiday cheer with performances by local talent, sing along carols, stories, poems and refreshments at the Yuletide Christmas Concert in the National Park Service Auditorium.

Indiana - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
On December 10, visitors can take part in Holiday Traditions in the Dunes including activities in four different park locations, tree decorating and a live performance from Nordic Kids.

Louisiana - Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Stop by the Magnolia Plantation Overseer's house on December 10 for Christmas crafts and live music by the LaCour Trio. The whole plantation complex will be open for self guided tours.

Montana - Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
On December 4, explore the elegant Kohrs’ family ranch house. It will be decorated to reflect a Victorian Christmas.

New York - Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
Visit the Vanderbilt Mansion from November 25 to December 21 to view the holiday decorations; or kick off the holiday season at the special Holiday Open House on December 4.

Ohio - Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express™ Children’s Holiday Train November 17 through December 20.  Enjoy hearing a reading of The Polar Express™ en route to the North Pole. Passengers are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Cookies and hot chocolate are served.

Utah - Golden Spoke National Historic Site
From December 28 – 30, visitors can take part in the annual Winter Steam Festival and watch one of their locomotives in action, as well as at rest in the same spot where the transcontinental railroad was completed over 142 years ago.

Washington, DCThe White House and President’s Park
After kicking off the holiday season with The National Christmas Tree Lighting, visitors are invited to Santa’s Workshop to meet Santa and his elves and enjoy holiday music performances throughout the month of December. 

For more information on these and any other events happening in America’s national parks, please visit www.nps.gov.

Donor Spotlight: The Coca-Cola Company

For more than 40 years, The Coca-Cola Company has supported America’s national parks. Their support kicked off by creating Sprite bottles with national park names embossed on them in a 1966 campaign encouraging the American public to experience and enjoy their national parks.

Since that time, The Coca-Cola Company has continued to help promote and encourage the use of our national parks through various initiatives including providing funding for the opening of 12 Discovery Centers in national parks across the country, helping to restore more than 260 miles of trails at various parks through the Active Trails program and helping to implement a sustainable recycling program on the National Mall. In addition, for the past 2 years Coca-Cola has held the America Is Your Park campaign, which invited all Americans to share their passion for national parks by voting for their favorite park as well as encouraging them to get outside and enjoy them!

To learn more about supporting the work of the National Park Foundation, click here.

NPF's Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for a unique way to give back to the national parks this holiday season, check out some of our great gift ideas below!

National Park Games
USAOPOLY has created several national park themed games which are sure to be fun for kids of all ages. Games include National Park Campfire Games – Checkers & TicTacToe, National Parks Yahtzee, and Memory Challenge – National Parks. To find out where to purchase a game, visit www.usaopoly.com.

Tango Card
If you’re planning on buying a gift card this year, why not buy one that gives back.Tango Card provides a platform for giving and getting gift cards. It sells gift cards to leading retailers as well as a multi-use “Tango Card.” This multi-use card allows the recipient to use the value of their card to 1) purchase a retail gift card, 2) redeem the value for cash or 3) donate all or a portion of the Tango Card’s value to the National Park Foundation. For more information, go to tangocard.com.

National Park Coins
Coin collectors, both young and
old, will be happy to receive the Yogi Bear's America The Beautiful Quarter's Collector's Book. The America the Beautiful Quarters feature images of national parks and other great lands of this country. This full color collector’s book features a spot for all 56 quarters (5 released per year from 2010-2021.) With every Yogi Bear book purchased, a complete set of 5 COLORIZED 2010 quarters is included for FREE to get you started! In addition, a percentage of every sale goes to support National Park Foundation programs. To place an order, visit yogibearcoins.com.

J. Crew T-Shirts
For the little ones in your life, how about giving a cool t-shirt. J. Crew has designed a national park t-shirt as part of their Crewcuts for a Cause collection. Sales of this shirt will go to support the National Park Foundation. To learn more and see the cool design, click here.

Passport To Your National Parks
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Passport To Your National Parks®, NPF and Eastern National have come together to offer the 25th anniversary edition of the Passport book.  Passport To Your National Parks® makes it easy to learn about and explore all of our national park sites while keeping track of the ones visited. Click here to place your order and $1 per book will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

National Park Foundation Collection of Fine Canvas and Leather Goods
J.W. Hulme Co., maker of fine canvas and leather goods since 1905, has developed a National Park Foundation collection of five exclusive items in the Minnesota maker’s signature green canvas. The bags include a solid brass luggage badge customized with your engraved initials, a specially designed case for your national park entrance pass, and extra D-rings for more functionality.  The National Park Foundation logo is embossed on one side of each bag, as well as on the national park entrance pass case and luggage badge. As a special benefit for NPF supporters, J.W. Hulme Co. is offering a 10% discount on initial purchases through December 31, 2011.  To take advantage of this offer, use code NPF1211 when placing your order online at jwhulmeco.com or by phone at 800-442-8212.



Ornaments for the Parks!


The National Park Foundation and W Washington DC hotel announce the first-ever “Ornaments for the Parks” auction. The eight acts that will be performing at the 89th National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Thursday, December 1st in President’s Park will autograph specially-designed ornaments from DC’s own Tiny Jewel Box which will then be auctioned off at Ebay.com. All proceeds benefit the National Park Foundation.
The auction will go live on Ebay December 1st at 10am ET. The signed ornaments will be on display across the street from the White House at the W Washington DC hotel. The hotel will also offer guests an “Orna-mint” cocktail (including a non-alcoholic version for kids), a drink created in celebration of the National Christmas Tree, in which $1 from each drink ordered will be donated to the National Park Foundation.
For more information about the “Ornaments for the Parks” auction, please visit www.thenationaltree.org or contact Barbara Martin at [email protected] or 301.229.6770.


Hooray for the Holidays!


Like free stuff? Well you’re in luck! In celebration of the holidays, the National Park Foundation is giving away national park prize packs every day between December 19 and 23! Each day there will be a chance to win awesome prizes like “America the Beautiful” parks passes, Merrell gift cards, Chico messenger bags, NPF gear, and even Southwest Airline tickets!  Check out our Facebook page for more details in the coming weeks!

Making an Impact at Jewel Cave National Monument


Jewel Cave National Monument hosted the Cub Scout Belt Loopalooza, an event with the Boy Scouts of America and eight other partner organizations, which provided an exciting day of activities for nearly 100 participants. Cub Scouts, ages seven to thirteen, took advantage of the day and earned five awards from a variety of educational topics after successfully completing each activity. Each topic complemented environmental education lessons, with a strong emphasis toward various management techniques on public lands. Superintendent Larry Johnson had this to say, “The purpose of the event was to introduce Cub Scouts to various public land agencies through fun and lively stations. A priority for the National Park Service is youth engagement, and I truly believe that this special event hit the mark.” Johnson continues, “Without the generous support of the National Park Foundation, this event would not have happened. Through the grant, we have the equipment necessary for future years, as well as for additional special events at Jewel Cave.”

Impact Grants are designed to help parks turn underfunded, yet innovative ideas into successful programs. NPF recently selected more than 70 projects to be awarded Impact Grants in 2012—all working to improve, preserve and protect our nation’s treasures. To learn more or support program like this, click here.

The Luminaria and Bright Stars of Friends of Saguaro National Park


While many children – and adults – get restless for the holidays, the gift of adventure came early to 2,500 Tucson area students who participated in Saguaro National Park’s BioBlitz recently featured on NPF's electronic field trip series. Supporting the BioBlitz was the Friends of Saguaro National Park, who both volunteered and raised over $120,000 for the event. Board members Erik Bakken, Matt Skowron, Lisa Harris and Dave Hamra co-led a 3-day backcountry trek with over 80 high school students, most of whom had never hiked before!  “It was worth every bit – organizing everything from sleeping bags to boots and food – to witness young people respond to the wonders wilderness for the first time,” said Executive Director Bob Newtson. The BioBlitz was so inspiring, the Friends and park staff are hoping to create “mini blitzes” to continue species monitoring with local schools. 

The Friends are avid park users and invite visitors to explore this slice of Sonoran desert, unique for its iconic Saguaro cacti. In December Tucson twinkles with both luminaria and incredible stars; the Friends invite you to enjoy the desert with day-hikes and evening outings under the spellbindingly preserved night sky.  As a participant in NPF’s Park Partner Project, the Friends are growing their membership, community outreach and park support.

To learn more about the Friends, visit their www.friendsofsaguaro.org or Facebook page

An Unparalleled Adventure in Katmai National Park


The National Park Foundation wants its supporters to get outside and enjoy our national parks.  As an exclusive benefit to members of the Stewardship Circle, NPF offers an annual behind-the-scenes trip to one of America’s treasured and iconic parks. In July of 2012, Stewardship Circle donors will visit Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Katmai is most famous for its incredible population of brown bears. Due to overwhelming popularity, the trip sold out almost immediately. Fortunately, NPF was able to add a second trip—but there are only a few spots remaining!  If you are interested in becoming a member of the Stewardship Circle and joining this and future trips, please click here.

Calling All Shutterbugs!


There’s still time to enter your favorite national park photos for your chance to win big!

The Share the Experience Photo Contest ends on December 31, 2011. Share your favorite photos from your recent national park trips before the deadline for a chance to win great prizes, including a 4 day trip to a national park of your choice, a Magellan GPS, an REI gift card, and best of all — one lucky winner will have their photo featured on the 2013 Federal Recreational Lands Pass!


As a gift from NPF, bring your national parks to life all year round with this free screensaver! Download Now!

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

All Americans received a precious gift 50 years ago this month when President John Kennedy created which national monument, known as one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea?
Submit your answer here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Bernice Diaz, from Garden Grove, CA, who knew that in anticipation of Halloween “Nathaniel Hawthorne” read his own chilling tales for visitors at Minute Man National Historical Park .

Way to go Bernice!
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There's still time to enter your favorite national park photos for your chance to win! The "Share the Experience" photo contest runs through December 31. Enter Today!

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