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.
Junior Rangers Like to Move it, Move it: National Parks Reward Physical Activity
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON – “Let's Move Outside, Junior Rangers!” is First Lady Michelle Obama's call to kids across the country. Today, 16 national parks – for a total of 36 nationwide – launch Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger. National Park Junior Rangers will not only have fun and get exercise but also receive an extra reward for working up a sweat. So far this summer, thousands of kids have earned the title while discovering that exercise doesn't equal drudgery.
Young people who complete a physical activity in pursuit of their Junior Ranger badge receive a sticker that designates them as a Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger. The activities range from adventures like snorkeling or kayaking at Assateague National Seashore and hiking and camping at Colorado National Monument to swimming at Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and canoeing in a 26-foot Norse canoe at Voyageurs National Park.
“The Let's Move Outside program in our national parks provides a wonderful way for parents to help their children gain a passion for outdoor recreation while teaching them about our nation's beautiful lands, our rich cultural heritage and our storied past,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
The program engages young people in educational programs and self-guided exploration on America's public lands and waters. The activities promise to be fun, healthy and family friendly.
“Young people inspire us; we want to help them be vigorous and curious for life. It starts with family fun. National parks are amazing places where exercise is disguised as adventure, and we sneak in some learning too,” National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said.
By summer's end, 50 national parks will offer Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger. Before heading out, visit www.letsmove.gov/letsmoveoutside.php for more information about activities and participating parks. This website hub will link families to the great outdoors and give tips and ideas on how to best plan and enjoy an active visit.
Throughout the summer, Let's Move Outside programs and events will be held in conjunction with schools, community groups, and other partners.
Let's Move Outside, led by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, provides tools and information to parents to make it easy to enjoy the outdoors and be active. It is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's nationwide campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.
Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger parks launched in June 2010 Canaveral National Seashore, Florida; Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio; Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska; Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa; Fire Island National Seashore, New York; Fort Dupont Park, Washington, DC; Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado; Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina; Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana; Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota; Mount Rainier National Park, Washington; New River Gorge National River, West Virginia; Prince William Forest Park, Virginia; Redwood National and State Parks, California; Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC; Shenandoah National Park, Virginia; Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho