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: Secretary Salazar Announces $8.4 million in Tribal Historic Preservation Grants
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced $8.4 million in grants to 131 American Indian tribes to support Tribal Historic Preservation Offices under the National Historic Preservation Act. The National Park Service awards grants to these tribes to assist in carrying out national historic preservation program responsibilities on tribal lands.
“The participation of American Indians in the national historic preservation program is a major step forward in how we tell the story of our land and its people,” Secretary Salazar said. “These grants will help tribes recount their histories that date back centuries before Europeans set foot on this continent. As they tell the story, all Americans can gain a greater appreciation of their rich traditions and cultures.”
Tribes can use the grants to fund projects such as nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, preservation education, architectural planning, historic structure reports, community preservation plans, and bricks-and-mortar repair to buildings. The grants are derived from revenues from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf and can help catalyze private and non-federal investment in historic preservation efforts nationwide.
“Increased attention to the preservation of significant tribal places, as well as tribal culture and tradition, is important to all Americans,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “This grant program provides important funding to protect the cultures of the first Americans.”