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: Salazar Urges Americans to Celebrate Earth Day at Parks, Refuges, and Other Public Lands
Office of the Secretary
No Admission Fee for National Parks during National Park Week
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today encouraged Americans to celebrate the 41st Earth Day by visiting national parks, national wildlife refuges, or other public lands.
“One of the goals of both Earth Day and President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative is to connect people to the beauty and richness of this planet and encourage a conservation ethic that will ensure that we protect this precious inheritance for our children to enjoy,” Salazar said. “What better way to do this than to make it easier for people to visit our national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.”
Salazar noted that the department is waiving all admission fees at the 394 units of the National Park System during National Park Week, which runs through April 24.
The department is also waiving admission fees at national parks, all 553 national wildlife refuges and the 245 million acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management on the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (September 24), and the weekend of Veterans Day (November 11-13).
Getting people out into nature is a key objective of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to work with communities and other partners across the country to establish a 21st Century conservation ethic and reconnect Americans to the natural world, Salazar said.