National Mall and Memorial Parks
“We cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery.” – George Washington from Headquarters Valley Forge February 16, 1778
How did October fly by so fast?! Maybe we all spent so much time enjoying the fall foliage and carving our pumpkins that we forgot to keep track of how quickly the end of the month was sprinting toward us! Not to worry though, we have you covered on all the tidbits of national park news that may have whizzed by you.
The cracking sound of a twig in the distance. The menacing hoot of a lone owl in the pitch-black night. The inexplicable creak of a floorboard in an empty historic building. It doesn’t take an overactive imagination to be spooked by the sometimes eerie nature of our national parks!
The second-to-last fee-free day of 2014 is upon us! On Saturday, September 27, all national parks will waive their entrance fees to welcome visitors for National Public Lands Day! Be a part of the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort and give back to the places that give us so much by lending a hand at a national park near you.
As part of the Park Stewards program, students had an amazing first visit to National Mall and Memorial Parks where they rode and learned about the Smithsonian carousel.
Originally at a private, segregated park in Maryland, several years of protests resulted in opening the park to all visitors on August 23, 1963, the same day as the original March on Washington.
During the visit, the kids also met a woman who had been at the carousel the day it opened to everyone, over 50 years ago.
The teachers shared how helpful the park was in designing and tailoring the visit to benefit the children. “First, [the ranger] came to our school to present a slide show to the students about the park system. Second, [she] took the kids on "behind the scenes" tours of the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials to give them a better sense of what rangers do and what types of jobs are needed to support the park system. Third, [she] gave each of the kids an NPS passport to show them the breadth of the park system (and encourage them to visit as many as possible). The passports were a huge hit and did as much as anything to get the kids excited about the parks.”
After the visit, Ranger Jennifer shared that the students, “have had a number of club meetings after school, where they have discussed future visits and activities and developed a name for the group, PITCH – Parks are Ideal for Teaching Cool History. Students are also stirring interest among their classmates, as they promote the parks in their school community.” Students’ service-learning projects involved creating scavenger hunts for the park with four different themes around race, gender, or ethnicity.
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…”
~PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
NOVEMBER 19, 1863
In honor of the 2014 National Park Week theme, we’re excited to “Go Wild” and share a new infographic with you! From diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history, the national parks truly showcase and protect the best of our national treasures.
Take a look, learn something new, and share the knowledge with your friends and family! And happy National Park Week!
After months of irresistible teasers and adorable trailers, Disneynature’s BEARS has finally arrived! Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure shares the epic story of one brave mama bear and her two impressionable cubs as they learn some of life’s most important lessons. One thing’s certain: audiences across the country are falling in love with this very special bear family.