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.
Salazar Seeks Legislation to Authorize Mint to Issue Coins Commemorating National Park Service Centennial Anniversary
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is asking Congress to pass legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to issue coins commemorating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.
“Commemorative coins would bring national and international visibility to the history and the mission of the Service as a whole as well as its many parks and programs during the bureau's centennial year,” Salazar wrote in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that accompanied a draft bill.
Under the proposed legislation, sales of the coins would raise funds for the National Park Foundation, a congressionally chartered organization that works to strengthen the connection between the American people and national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness.
The legislation would authorize the issuance of 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar clad coins. As collectors' items, the coins typically sell for far more than their face value. For example, gold $5 coins that were minted for Jamestown's 400th anniversary in 2007 sold for over $200 each, while silver $1 coins sold for about $37 a piece.
The foundation, as the designated recipient of surcharges, would receive $35 for each gold coin, $10 for each silver coin, and $5 for each half-dollar coin sold.
For a copy of Secretary Salazar's letter to Congress, click here.