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.
Interior depends heavily upon volunteer workers to help us accomplish our mission. Volunteers serve as campground hosts, clear trails, help with seasonal bird surveys, collect new information for maps, and assist with many other day-to-day activities. In 2000, the number of our volunteer workers surpassed 200,000; almost three times the number of employees in our paid workforce. The high quality work they perform results in significant savings to the American people and allows us to offer more programs and services. For example, in 2001, volunteers for BLM, NPS, and FWS provided combined total service valued at about $98 million.
Additional Information about volunteerism:
Take Pride in America - A national partnership to improve our parks, refuges, and public lands.
Volunteer.gov – Search for natural resource volunteer opportunities