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 Urges Parents to Take Children Out to Parks At “Let's Move Outside” Event at Golden Gate Recreation Area
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
SAN FRANCISCO – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today urged parents to take their children out to parks for exercise and outdoor recreation as part of a “Let's Move Outside” event with a group of fourth grade students at the Crissy Field Center in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
“Let's Move Outside” is a nationwide initiative adopted by the National Park Service as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let's Move” campaign to end childhood obesity in a generation.
“With the Let's Move Outside initiative, the National Park Service is helping Americans fulfill the First Lady's challenge to get outdoors for better health and for fuller, richer lives,” Salazar said before joining the fourth graders from New Traditions School in San Francisco for exercise and other activities. “Places like Golden Gate National Recreation Area offer wonderful opportunities for families to stretch their legs, fill their lungs with fresh air, and connect with the natural world. Visiting parks can also instill in children a lifelong love of the great outdoors.”
As part of the initiative, the National Park Service has instituted the “Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger program, “a modified version of the popular Junior Ranger program that rewards children for participating in healthy activities, such as hiking, biking, canoeing, and swimming.
Now operating in 52 national parks across the country – including a range of cultural and historic sites – Let's Move Outside fulfills the dual goals of improving our children's health, and instilling ethics of stewardship and civic pride.
Salazar noted that Golden Gate is a premier urban national park that offers seven million people in the San Francisco Bay Area an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and to learn about the region's history and culture. In particular, youth and environmental education programs at the park's Crissy Field Center – a partnership of the NPS, the Presidio Trust, and the nonprofit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy – are among the best in the National Park System. Program coordinators engage communities in the development of programs, many of which are tailored specifically for diverse audiences.
“Let's Move Outside” complements President Obama's “America's Great Outdoors” initiative to create a conservation agenda for the 21st Century and to reconnect Americans to nature.
“People take care of what they love,” Salazar said. “If we are going to have a successful conservation legacy in the 21st Century, our young people must develop a passion and a love for the great outdoors and all the wonders of the natural world. And, of course, visiting parks is fun and healthy.”