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.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Salazar Announces $4.4 Million in Grants for Historic Preservation by American Indian Tribes
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced $4.4 million in grants from the Historic Preservation Fund to 117 American Indian tribes to assist with the preservation of important historic and cultural sites and to promote education and interpretation programs.
“As part of our commitment to empowering Indian nations to achieve the future of their choosing, we want to support the agendas of tribes to preserve, interpret, and enrich their heritage,” Secretary Salazar said. “These investments will help not only help protect cultural and historic sites, but also provide tools to spur new economic opportunities in tribal communities.”
The grants are derived from revenues from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf and are used by the National Park Service to make historic preservation grants to Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.
“Assisting tribal historic preservation efforts is one of several ways that we help American Indians recover and safeguard their cultural heritage,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are honored to collaborate with tribes on this important front.”
Tribes use the grants to fund projects such as nominations to the NPS's National Register of Historic Places, preservation education, architectural planning, historic structure reports, community preservation plans, and bricks-and-mortar repair to buildings. HPF grants are also made to State Historic Preservation Offices.