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: Mount Rainier National Park: Secretary Salazar Visits Park Staff
Secretary Ken Salazar joins more than 70 Mount Rainier National Park employees and volunteers for a group photo on August 14, 2012. While at Mount Rainier, Salazar shared words of encouragement and support with park staff, who lost five co-workers this year. Photo by Chris Roundtree, NPS.
On Tuesday, August 14, Secretary Ken Salazar visited Mount Rainier National Park staff and shared words of encouragement and support in light of this year's loss of five co-workers – park ranger Margaret Anderson and climbing ranger Nick Hall through line-of-duty deaths, and custodial worker Roy Watters, engineering equipment operator Doug Chappell and seasonal trails laborer Ted Cox from illnesses or off-duty accidents.
Salazar spoke on the importance of public service and the nobility of the mission carried out by National Park Service employees and volunteers on behalf of the nation.
Following the employee meeting, Salazar met with approximately 25 local tourism and community leaders and other park partners to discuss the economic benefits of national parks and the importance of local partnerships.
Salazar took time for a photo op with the 70-plus employees and volunteers, with Mount Rainier shining in the distance.
By: Donna Rahier, Mount Rainier National Park, NPS; and Randy King, Mount Rainier National Park, NPS