The month of May brings spring folliage to the national parks and we're sharing ways for you to see it from your home.

National Park Foundation, GoParks newsletter graphic cover image of the Gateway Arch standing tall over a pond in a tree-filled urban park

A Note from Our President and CEO Will Shafroth

A shallow stream flows around rocks, through a valley in Rocky Mountain National Park, large peaks are silhoutted in the distance and the sun sets behind them

As some national parks begin to gradually increase access, we want to remind you that we care about parks and we care about you. We ask everyone to please “know before you go” and check for the latest on park operations, keep a safe distance among one another, go at your own pace, and prioritize your health. It’s up to all of us to #RecreateResponsibly. Let’s please remember to take good care of our parks, take good care of ourselves, and take good care of each other. We’re in this together.

We hope you find something in this issue of GoParks to brighten your day.

Memorial Day in Our National Parks

The Vietnam Memorial wall of names reflects the path and trees in the park and the Washington Memorial stands in the distance

Each May, our nation honors those who have died while serving in our armed forces. The history of the sacrifices made by these brave men and women is woven into the preserved historic sites, monuments, and memorials in the National Park System dedicated to interpreting and celebrating our military history. Honor the fallen and remember the brave this Memorial Day by learning about four iconic parks where their stories are preserved and protected.

Every Day is Earth Day

Kids grin at the camera while lounging in brightly colored hammocks, hanging over a green lawn

Every day is Earth Day at National Park Foundation, as we work year-round to further the mission of the National Park System in connecting people to national parks and ensuring that they are protected and enhanced for future generations. With the help of our community of national park champions, we support projects across the 85 million acres of land and water protected by the national park system. This means rehabilitating historic buildings, conserving species and their precious habitats, connecting students to outdoor adventures, and so much more. Join us in celebrating all that we accomplished together in 2019.

All Aboard! New Junior Ranger Railroad Program Available Online

The Cuyahoga Scenic Train sits at a tree-lined station while passengers group up to board

The National Park Foundation and National Park Service are excited to offer the newest Junior Ranger booklet, Railroad Explorer, thanks to generous support from Union Pacific Railroad. This new (and free!) activity booklet is a fun way for kids and families to ride the rails from coast to coast from the comfort of your home. Through the lens of national parks, and with interactive and educational activities, kids and families can dig into the multi-faceted and multi-cultural story of the transcontinental railroad.

Get Your Free National Park Owner's Guides

National Park Foundation Owners Guides

Thinking about your next national park experience? These FREE downloadable national park Owner's Guides are filled with travel tips and helpful information. It's your one-stop resource to discover all your national parks! Download today.

Support Your Parks

A sticker, tote bag, and tshirt, all available at the National Park Foundation merchandise store

This spring show off
your park pride with NPF gear!!

A man and woman sit together on a grass covered hill, overlooking more hills and clusters of trees at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Make a difference for America's treasured places – today and for years to come.

Take a Walk Among the Wildflowers

Abundant purple and orange wildflowers carpet El Malpais National Monument

Spring often conjures up images of flowers in bloom – and nowhere are they more beautiful than in our national parks. In the diverse ecosystems of our national parks, a wide range of wildflowers bloom throughout the year. Wildflowers dot the landscapes of our treasured lands and cultural sites in a stunning variety of shapes and colors, providing feeding grounds for important pollinators like bees and birds. Take a virtual walk through the wildflowers in our national parks and discover the ecosystems and stories they illuminate.

Every National Park Is Connected to Labor History

Mechanical looms line the Boot Weave Room from wall to wall with only space for a walking aisle down the middle at Lowell National Historical Park

Come along for the ride as National Park Service Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow Eleanor Mahoney, PhD takes us on a journey highlighting the lives of working people in the past and present through national parks. From Buffalo Soldiers, to farm workers, to present day National Park Service employees, Eleanor illuminates how every national park has a labor history to tell.

Rustic to Utilitarian: The Modernization of Park Architecture

The Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center is a single story, L-shaped building with a large, low pitch roof, white walls, and brown trim with a tall totem pole standing in front of the building and evergreens along the back

In 1966, the National Park Service celebrated its 50th anniversary, commissioning a new series of buildings designed by park architect Cecil John Doty. Doty’s pioneering vision defined a new architectural style seen in visitor centers in parks across the country – Mission 66. Combining the modernist approach to construction with traditional building materials and the exterior park landscapes as a backdrop, Doty’s clean lines and bold looks reflected the cultural climate of the period. Explore the life, work, and legacy of Doty, in his 35-year career with the National Park Service.

Learn the ABCs of National Park Wildlife

A young brown bear and an adult brown bear touch noses in the green brush in Denali National Park and Preserve

Covering millions of acres across our country, our national parks are home to an amazing diversity of wildlife, from the iconic gray wolves at Yellowstone to the small California new in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The National Park Service works diligently to protect these animals, fish and plants as well as the treasured landscapes in which they live. Learn the ABCs of national park wildlife – from avocet to zebra-tailed lizard – and meet just some of the types of wildlife that call our national parks home.

Natural Clarity

Donor Allie hugs her husband, David, resting her head on his shoulder as they smile for the camera while on a hike on a dirt path in Zion National Park

Allie and David Peacock have shared a passion for parks. After a terrifying night lost in Zion National Park, they learned how to connect with each other through nature. “The parks provide so many opportunities to connect with yourself and with whatever forces you believe are bigger than you,” says Allie. The Peacocks joined the Champions Society with a generous gift designated, perhaps not surprisingly, for improved trail signs at Zion National Park. The National Park Foundation Champion Society members support the protection of the parks experience and preservation of our national parks, monuments, and historic sites. Learn more about being a Champions Society member on our website.

In Case You Missed It

The colorful night sky at Acadia National Park is the back drop to two TIE fighters shoot at an X-wing as it flies away

Follow us on social media for more national park gems like these.

Get Artsy with Find Your Park Fridays

A painter stands at their easel as they paint the lighthouse and brick building in the distance at Picutred Rocks National Lakeshore

For over 100 years, artists of all sorts have been inspired by America’s national parks. Their work, capturing the beauty of our landscapes, resources, and shared histories, often inspired others in protecting and preserving these places for present and future generations – including the National Park Foundation, which supports projects and programs that do the same.

Feeling bored or restless? Join us each Friday on Twitter for fun Find Your Park-themed challenges. We’re harnessing the inspiration of national parks to talk about art, poetry, food, and more and we want you to be a part of it. You just might see your work published on our blog!

Share Your Favorite National Park Pics & Recs

A photographer with camera stands on the side from a mountain overlook, with rocky slopes in the background

Some of our most cherished memories come from visits to America’s treasured national parks. Share your favorite moments in parks with us and other national park enthusiasts – from beautiful trails or scenic vistas to must-see sunsets. Post your most beloved images from past trips or write a short recommendation about visiting a park for our Find Your Park Pics & Recs gallery. Then explore what others have discovered in the over 400 national parks across the country and get inspired for your next park visit.

Join Our New Facebook Group!

The silhouette of hands forming a heart against an orange sunset

Looking for a way to connect with national parks and other park enthusiasts? Join our new Facebook Group, We Heart National Parks! Meet other park enthusiasts like you, connect with NPF leaders, learn about our impact work in national parks, and more! We hope you’ll join our parks family, participate in conversations, and share your love for national parks.

This Month's Quiz

A corner view of the of Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site showing the red brick two story builing's back proch with French style, black iron railings, and a white picket fence at the sidewalk

Which national park unit shares the history of the beginning stages of the Hawai'ian kingdom, including submerged temple ruins dedicated to sharks?

And congratulations to last month's winner, Jennifer Upshaw, from Fredericksburg, VA who knew that the home of the first African American woman in the United States to found a bank is now preserved as Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.

Way to go, Jennifer!

The Gateway Arch standing tall over a pond in a tree-filled urban park

Wow! Where Is That?

Curious which park is featured at the top of this newsletter? Find out now!

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