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 Four National Historic Landmarks
Office of the Secretary
North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma See New Landmarks
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of four new National Historic Landmarks in four states, including a pre-Columbian flint quarry in North Dakota, a colonial-era Pennsylvania German house, and a 20th Century Oregon house of the Northwest Style.
“Each of these landmarks teaches us about the history of our land, our people, and our nation, from archeological sites dating back more than two millennia to a mid-twentieth century building,” Secretary Salazar said. “In designating these sites as National Historic Landmarks, we complement President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to 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 four new National Historic Landmarks:
The Lynch Quarry in Dunn Center, North Dakota has yielded - and may yield more - nationally significant information of major scientific importance about the role of Knife River Flint in tool production, subsistence strategies, migration, and seasonal rounds of individual Native American groups during the pre-contact period. This archeological site also provides insight into how technology changed and was adapted over a period of several thousand years to reflect environmental changes.
The Aubrey Watzek House in Portland, Oregon was essential to the establishment of a regional approach to architecture that became known as the Northwest Style during the mid-twentieth century. The broad influence of this style offers proof that the Modernist movement in America was extraordinarily rich and more indigenous than its critics have traditionally allowed.
The Schaeffer House in Schaefferstown, Heidelberg Township, Pennsylvania is nationally significant as a rare intact example of a colonial-era building type within the Pennsylvania German architectural tradition. It is quite possibly the only surviving Weinbauernhaus, a type that incorporates domestic functions and spaces used for the production of alcoholic spirits within a single building.
Platt National Park Historic District in Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Sulphur, Oklahoma reflects one the of the most cohesive and intensive programs of master planning and landscape conservation carried out in the national parks through the collaboration of the National Park Service and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the New Deal era.
Secretary Salazar also announced a boundary change and updated documentation for the Harry S Truman Historic District National Historic Landmark in Independence, Missouri which was designated in 1971. The revised nomination expands the original district boundaries to include the downtown area where Truman worked in various capacities, properties important to and frequented by Truman on his famous walks, and resources omitted from the original designation. Updated documentation for the National Historic Landmark USS Constellation in Baltimore, Maryland which was designated in 1963 was also accepted. This updated documentation reflects new research on the complex story of the Constellation and its role in suppressing the slave trade off the African coast. Finally, President, a steamboat in St. Elmo, Illinois, had its designation as a National Historic Landmark withdrawn because of a loss of historic integrity.
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.