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 Designates 14 New National Historic Landmarks
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of 14 new national historic landmarks in 11 states and the District of Columbia that have played an integral role in the development of the country.
“Each of these landmarks represents a chapter in the story of America, from archeological sites dating back more than two millennia to historic train depots, homes of famous artists, and buildings designed by some of our greatest architects,” said Secretary Salazar. “By designating these sites as national landmarks, we help meet the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to establish a conservation ethic for the 21st century and reconnect people, especially young people, to our nation's historic, cultural, and natural heritage.”
“These new listings will join approximately 2,500 other sites in the National Historic Landmark Program,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These places showcase our rich and complex history – from prehistoric time right up to the modern era.”
The new national historic landmarks include:
The Lightship LV-118 (Overfalls), now a museum in Lewes, Delaware, is the last lightship constructed for and commissioned by the U.S. Lighthouse Service.
Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC, and Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City are early examples of collaborative landscape architecture and contain some of the finest examples of funerary art in the nation.
Four national homes for disabled volunteer soldiers – Western Branch in Leavenworth, Kansas; Mountain Branch in Johnson City, Tennessee; Battle Mountain Branch in Hot Springs, South Dakota; and Northwestern Branch in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – reflect the development of a national system of veteran health care in the United States.
The Olson House in Cushing, Maine, and the Kuerner Farm in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, are both intimately tied to the renowned 20th-century artist Andrew Wyeth. Wyeth spent 30 summers at the Olson House and is buried on the grounds. The house is depicted in many of his works including “Christina's World,” one of the most famous American paintings. The Kuerner Farm was the inspiration for more than 1,000 Wyeth paintings over a 64-year period.
Grand Mound in International Falls, Minnesota, is an interconnected archeological landscape of mounds, seasonal villages, and sturgeon fishing sites going back to 200 BC.
Split Rock Light Station near Beaver Bay, Minnesota, appears virtually the same as it did when completed in 1910. The station greatly aided navigation in the busy and narrow shipping lanes of Lake Superior.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Depot and Baggage Room in Dennison, Ohio, is the only surviving station in the country that reflects the important role of trains and train stations in the transportation and care of troops during World War II. During the war, about 4,000 volunteers provided moral support and served meals around the clock to 1.3 million soldiers in the depot's Salvation Army Servicemen's Canteen.
The Arch Street Friends Meeting House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was built by noted Federal period architect and author Owen Biddle and has been in continuous use since 1805. It is also the largest Quaker Meeting House in the country.
The Mountain Meadows Massacre Site in Washington County, Utah, marks the location of the September 11, 1857, massacre of 120 emigrants by militiamen associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The event was the apex of decades of violence, mistrust, and fear.
Salazar also announced a name and boundary change for Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark in Lovell, Wyoming which was designated in 1970. Renamed Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark, the site now includes almost 4,000 addition acres of significant and intact Native American sacred areas. The John B. Gough House in Boylston, Massachusetts, also received a boundary clarification.
The program, established in 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The agency works with preservation officials and other partners interested in nominating a landmark. Completed applications are reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of the Interior. If selected, property ownership remains intact but each site receives a designation letter, a plaque, and technical preservation advice.
Additional information on the designations can be found at www.nps.gov/nhl.