SPECIAL EDITION THE PREMIERE OF
    THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA
    "This 12-hour history…is a strong candidate for the most beautiful program ever to air on American television. It's the Burns effort that most closely rivals The Civil War, his masterpiece."
Hal Boedeker, The Orlando Sentinel

On Sunday night, millions of Americans tuned in to PBS and fell in love again with their national parks. The National Park Foundation is proud to be a core partner and funder of Ken Burns' THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA. If you enjoyed episodes one and two, stay tuned all week for new episodes every night.

If you missed the first episodes,, you can watch them now on pbs.org/nationalparks. After you’ve watched the latest episode, visit www.nationalparks.org/bestidea to enter our Best Idea Trivia Contest where you can test your knowledge of the parks and win great prizes too. A new trivia question and a new chance to win will be posted just before each of the six episodes.
 
 
 
 
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Make America’s Best
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  Honor the Heroes
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WHERE’S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT?
The national parks belong to everyone, but the special places and moments you find and create within them are entirely your own. Now you can share your most indelible memories with the world. Visit nationalparks.org and mark the spots in America’s national parks that mean the most to you.

 
 
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, works to strengthen the enduring connection between the American people and their parks and to provide support to the National Park Service by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. NPF is proud to be a major funder of the new Ken Burns documentary series, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA and congratulates Florentine Films and PBS for producing this historic film.
       
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Make America’s Best Idea Even Better
On September 26, countless Americans gathered in their national parks to help make Americas Best Idea even better. As a core partner and funder of the Ken Burns documentary, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA, the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service worked with park friends groups, partners and funders to celebrate the film and its premiere.
More than 200 national parks across the country hosted visitors and volunteers for a special day of service and celebration.

Highlights included:
 
National Capital Area Parks The 14 national parks of the National Capital Region hosted their own volunteer and special interpretive activities for the community throughout the day. Service projects varied by site and included trail projects, river clean-ups and exotic plant removal. The service day concluded with a celebration on the Ellipse and a live appearance by Ken Burns.
 
Rocky Mountain National Park Park volunteers built a new trail along the Continental Divide on the western side of the park. In the evening, the National Park Foundation, Rocky Mountain PBS and etown.org celebrated Ken Burns and his new documentary at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder. The program included interviews with NPF president and CEO Neil Mulholland and acclaimed photographer John Fielder and live performances of music from the documentary.
 
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island National Monuments In an early kick-off to National Public Lands Day, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island opened to the public for a special evening tour featuring the special sneak peek for the first time ever on September 24 and 25.

Dan Wenk, the acting director of the National Park Service, had the following words about the film: "In the way only they can do, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan are reinvigorating the American people's love of their national parks. The National Park Service welcomes this opportunity to strengthen our relationships with park visitors, introduce them to all of the parks – there are 391 of them – and explain how the National Park Service helps citizens revitalize their communities. Making America's Best Idea even better is our job. We invite all Americans to come out for a visit, embrace their ownership of national parks, and join us in caring for these special places."

NPF supporters including long-time proud partner Unilever, as well as Merrell, helped to sponsor the national celebration as well as host complementary events in cities across the country. Learn more at www.nps.gov/AmericasBestIdea.
 
Heroes of Flight 93 Honored Across the Nation
The Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign and the Flight 93 Partners marked the eighth anniversary of September 11, 2001 and Flight 93 with a number of outreach and fund-raising activities. With the solemn field where Flight 93 crashed eight years
ago in the background, more than 4,500 people gathered to remember the courage of the passengers and crew of Flight 93. Secretary Ken Salazar, Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, National Park Foundation Board member General Tommy Franks and former governor Tom Ridge were among those who shared their unique perspectives on Flight 93 culminating in keynote remarks by General Colin Powell. Country music entertainer Trace Adkins performed the National Anthem, and family members and community leaders read aloud the names of the passengers and crew at 10:03 a.m., the time when Flight 93 crashed.
 
Across the nation, additional events commemorating the Heroes of Flight 93 included:
 
In cities and towns along the way, they were greeted by other motorcyclists and police escorts with a "traveling temporary memorial" that collected tributes to the passengers and crew." Also, please change the total raised to $107,000.
 
More than 600 guests attended 9/11 We Will Never Forget in Pittsburgh, PA. Co-hosted by The Pittsburgh Steelers, the reception and dinner were captained by former Steelers greats Rocky Bleier and Franco Harris, National Park Foundation President and CEO Neil Mulholland, and Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign Chairman Chris Sullivan. The event raised more that $240,000 for the Campaign.
 
One of the likely targets of Flight 93 was the U.S. Capitol, where some 2,000 staff and 30,000 visitors can be found every day. In recognition of the life-saving heroism of the passengers and crew, an impressive bronze plaque bearing their names was dedicated just outside the Capitol’s Rotunda.
 
Within weeks of the crash of Flight 93, Pennsylvania State Senator Jane Orie launched Hearts of Steel, a campaign to raise funds to support building a new memorial. After selling more than 100,000 bracelets made from Pennsylvania steel, $1.1 million was gifted to the Campaign.

An up-to-date listing of these and other activities to commemorate Flight 93 and 9/11, as well as information about supporting the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign, can be found on the newly redesigned website, honorflight93.org, on Facebook, on Twitter and on YouTube.
 
Explore Your Parks: Download the National Park Owner's Guide
The National Park Foundation's Owner's Guide is designed to make your national park experience better than ever. Full of advice about what to see and do including maps of every state and links to each national park's website, the Owner's Guide offers an insider's view of the special places we love and the opportunity to experience them to their fullest. Download an Owner's Guide for free, and explore your parks as you never have before.
 
In the News
Expedia
Expedia.com® and the National Park Foundation have announced the launch of a new online resource to help travelers plan and book vacations to America’s national parks. The site provides visitors with information about the national parks and nearby lodging options available on Expedia.com, as well as suggestions for long-weekend itineraries and in-depth articles on “Can’t-Miss National Parks” like Grand Canyon and Olympic. The site also features downloadable park maps and other editorial content from the National Park Foundation.
 

Expedia is also offering a chance to win a VIP vacation to Yosemite National Park. Simply book a stay at any participating Starwood Hotels & Resorts property – including brands such as Westin, Sheraton and W – by October 15, for travel through October 31, 2009, and you will be automatically entered to win the grand prize, which includes airfare and VIP tours of Yosemite. Travelers may also win one of 20 first prize autographed copies of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan.
 
America’s Best Idea Grants
The National Park Foundation and Unilever will continue to help reach traditionally underserved groups and empower them to create strong, lasting bonds of stewardship with the national parks – continuing the tradition of a diverse American public working together to preserve and enhance the legacy of “America’s Best Idea.” The inaugural America’s Best Idea Grants provided $500,000 for outreach efforts in 35 national parks.
   
 
Owner's Guide 2009 >> 
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  Who wrote that national parks are “Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world”? Submit your answer here  
  And congratulations to our last quiz question winner, Tom Beatini of Hillsdale, NJ who correctly answered that Biscayne National Park is home to 25 keys, or small islands.  
     
 
   
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