Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
DOINews: Arctic Interagency Visitor Center Enlists 'Ice Road Truckers' for National Public Lands Day Cleanup
(Editor's note: By late September, the weather in much of Alaska is chilly or even snowy, so Alaska holds many of its National Public Lands Day events earlier in the summer.)
On August 17, 2012, the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot, Alaska, enlisted 'star power' for its Adopt a Highway cleanup project on the Dalton Highway, Alaska's only road connection to the Arctic Ocean. Visitor center staff and local volunteers were joined by three Carlile Transportation Systems truckers who have been featured on the History Channel's reality television show "Ice Road Truckers." These truckers know the Dalton Highway inside out, and as you'll learn in the video below*, they are strong advocates for keeping the highway and surrounding public lands litter-free.
Despite drizzly weather the event drew 20 people, who picked up trash along a section of the highway about 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The volunteers also helped dedicate the highway's first recycling containers, which will be installed at the visitor center next spring.
Volunteers at the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center's National Public Lands Day cleanup event gather for a group photo. Photo by BLM.
Karen Deatherage manages the staff at the award-winning visitor center, operated each summer by the BLM and its partner agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. "Our National Public Lands Day event was an opportunity to bring together the wonderfully diverse members of this unique Arctic community," Karen says. "We showed that through collective effort, we can keep the Dalton Highway and landscape a great place to live, work and visit."