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 Parks Offering Free Entrance on Sept. 29 - National Public Lands Day
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the national parks hosting a a National Public Lands Day volunteer event to restore trails, vegetation and campgrounds. Photo of the park's Loch Vale Trail by NPS.
WASHINGTON — All 397 national parks will offer free entrance on Saturday, Sept. 29, for National Public Lands Day. The 19th annual event encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Visit www.nps.gov for a list of parks and information to help plan your park adventure.
“National Public Lands Day reminds all of us of the vast and diverse nature of America's open spaces, from small neighborhood parks to large national parks, and the importance of each one,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are fortunate that more than 600 million acres of public land, including national parks, provide all of us with cherished places where we can go to unwind, recreate, or learn.”
Many people will lend a hand to help the land and spend part of National Public Lands Day volunteering on work projects. More than 170,000 people are expected to plant trees, clean watersheds, remove invasive plants, replace signs, and otherwise beautify 2,000 public sites throughout the country. Visit www.publiclandsday.org for more information.
Some of the national parks hosting volunteer events are Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia, San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia. Anyone who volunteers for a National Park Service work project will receive a coupon good for future entrance to a national park.
Other federal agencies offering free admittance on Sept. 29 include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the USDA Forest Service.
Normally, 133 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 264 parks do not charge for admission. The National Park Service will also waive entrance fees from Nov. 10-12 in commemoration of Veterans Day.