Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
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.
Salazar Announces National Park Service Will Waive Fees on August 14 and 15
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the National Park Service will waive entrance fees on August 14 and 15 to encourage all Americans to visit our national parks.
“This fee-free weekend provides an opportunity for individuals and families alike to take an affordable vacation or to explore a nearby park they have never visited before,” Salazar said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free admission to visit not only our greatest natural wonders but also our nation's historic and cultural icons.”
There are 391 national parks located across the country in 49 states, many of which will hold free events on August 14 and 15. A complete list by park or state is available at www.nps.gov. A sampling of offerings include:
Ranger-led programs with free instruction and equipment loans for those who want to get wet. Enjoy snorkeling at Cape Cod, kayaking at DeSoto, or canoeing in Congaree or Big Cypress. Prefer to simply chill out near the water? Bring your blanket to one of the 50 parks with beaches.
Watch history come to life at military encampments and firing demonstrations at Antietam, Gettysburg, Fort Laramie, Fort McHenry, Fort Vancouver, Fort Stanwix, Fort Matanzas, Kings Mountain, Wilson Creek, Kennesaw Mountain, and Yorktown.
Dance or tap your toes to the sounds of the Pig War Band at San Juan Island, Cajun music at Jean Lafitte, Ojibwe music at Grand Portage, mountain music on the Blue Ridge Parkway, folk songs at Carl Sandburg, classical music at Saint-Gaudens, or dulcimer music on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The entrance fees being waived at the 146 sites usually charge for admission range from $3 to $25. There are 246 other parks that do not have entrance fees so you can plan a free visit year-round. The fee free waiver does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions.
The National Park Service website provides information to help the public plan their park adventures at www.nps.gov.