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: National Park Service: Grand Canyon's Green Team Wins a 2011 GreenGov Presidential Award
On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced that Grand Canyon National Park's Green Team was among the 2011 winners of the GreenGov Presidential Awards for exceptional efforts to promote sustainability in agency operations while pursuing President Obama's Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance.
"President Obama challenged the federal community to lead by example to improve efficiency, cut waste and pollution, and promote clean energy," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "The Grand Canyon Team exemplifies how the National Park Service is meeting the president's challenge, and shows that you can make decisions that protect clean air and water, dramatically improve energy efficiency, and reduce costs – all at the same time."
The Grand Canyon Green Team won the GreenGov Good Neighbor Award for working with neighboring rural communities to responsibly dispose of electronic, universal and hazardous waste in the Grand Canyon National Park region. Partners for this effort included the Grand Canyon Railway, Xanterra South Rim, Williams Clean and Beautiful Committee, the city of Williams, the city of Flagstaff, and Coconino County Supervisor Carl Taylor.
The partnership helped divert more than 56 tons of waste from local community landfills, including 214 large appliances, 34,617 pounds of electronics, and 600 tires. Through their efforts, the Grand Canyon Green Team was able to give residents and businesses in rural communities the opportunity to act responsibly by reducing hazardous and electronic waste, extending cooperative conservation beyond park boundaries. Additionally, their success can be used as a model for other federal facilities that are located away from densely populated areas where conventional recycling efforts are not feasible.