Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Secretary Jewell Launches 50 Cities Initiative to Engage Next Generation of Leaders, Outdoor Stewards
Office of the Secretary
$5 Million Public-Private Partnership with American Express to Help Department Reach Goal of 1 Million Volunteers on Public Lands Annually
Last edited 4/26/2016
MIAMI, FLA— As part of the Interior Department's bold youth initiative to engage the next generation of outdoor stewards and inspire millions of young adults to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell this week officially launched a nationwide effort in 50 U.S. cities to increase awareness, support and participation in outdoor programs. The announcement comes on the heels of yesterday's $5 million commitment from American Express to help the Department reach its goal of one million volunteers on public lands annually.
Joined by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and YMCA of South Florida President & CEO Sheryl Woods, Jewell announced the following cities have been identified to participate in the program: New York City; Miami; Atlanta; Boston; Washington, DC; Denver; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; San Francisco; St. Louis; and St. Paul. The initiative will roll out in 25 cities in 2015, with the remaining 25 cities to be identified in 2016.
“Children across our nation are increasingly disconnected from nature, yet playing outside and learning about the natural world is fun, healthy and builds confidence in kids. Likewise, engaging volunteers of all ages in caring for parks and public lands not only leverages public resources, it builds pride and a connection to these special places that stays with people forever,” said Secretary Jewell. “Miami is blessed with parks and national public lands close by, and a strong network of public and nonprofit leaders committed to getting kids outdoors, active and connected to nature. Through the 50 Cities Initiative, with the financial support of American Express and community connections of the YMCA, we are nurturing a movement to foster the next generation of leaders and outdoor stewards while helping people connect to the public lands in their community – particularly in urban areas like Miami.”
“The City of Miami is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of the Interior for this important initiative to engage our youth with the outdoors,” said Mayor Tomás Regalado. “Our City is fortunate to have great weather and many parks and public lands in which our citizens and visitors can enjoy the natural world.” Jewell and American Express Foundation President Timothy J. McClimon yesterday participated in a service project at Castle Clinton National Monument in Manhattan to launch the effort.
“Community service and historic preservation have a long heritage at American Express,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “Since our founding more than 160 years ago, American Express has seen how America's parks and public lands contribute to our sense of national and local identity, and we are proud to lead an effort to mobilize a new generation of volunteers to protect, conserve and revitalize America's public lands and treasured national parks.”
In partnership with the YMCA of the USA, the funding from American Express will create community coordinator positions in 50 U.S. cities to increase awareness, support and participation in outdoor programs. These newly created positions are expected to engage thousands of volunteers in each city annually.
“Many people in our urban neighborhoods don't always have the chance to experience all that the public lands in and around our city have to offer,” said YMCA of South Florida President & CEO Sheryl Woods “This initiative will help us bring together leaders in conservation, education, recreation and service to provide opportunities for individuals to deepen their connection to these natural and historic sites, develop important skills, and engage in activities where they can give back and strengthen their community.”
In April 2014, the National League of Cities and the YMCA of the USA joined forces with Interior to get more kids to play, learn, serve and work on public lands. American Express has joined the movement as the lead sponsor for the “serve” component with a goal of more than tripling the current number of volunteers working on public lands annually to one million by 2017. The next step for each city will be a community-wide summit hosted by the local Y to bring all interested parties together to discuss strategies, priorities, and partnerships.
These efforts will help leverage resources and support the goals of President Obama's “Every Kid in a Park” initiative that was launched in February that will provide all fourth grade students and their families with free admission to national parks and other public lands and waters for a full year. In the lead up to the 100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016, the President's “Every Kid in a Park” initiative is a call to action to get all children to visit and enjoy America's great outdoors.