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APRIL 2013


Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota

FEATURED PARK: Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota

The mighty Mississippi is one of the largest and most fabled rivers in the country and home to seven national parks—but only the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area was specifically created to share the history and science of the river itself. This urban oasis has a bit of everything, from canoeing and bird-watching opportunities to military relics and historic buildings.

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Tubman and Young

President Declares Three New National Monuments

Last month, President Obama officially honored Harriet Tubman and Colonel Charles Young with new monuments in the National Park System. Tubman famously helped enslaved Americans escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad; Young was a distinguished Buffalo Soldier and the first African American to serve as acting superintendent of a national park. The president also created Delaware’s first national monument, preserving 1,100 acres along the Brandywine River.

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Navajo Generating Station

Take Action: Don’t Delay Grand Canyon Cleanup

Great news: The EPA recently proposed significant, long-awaited pollution reductions for a coal plant that has been dirtying the air at the Grand Canyon and at least ten other pristine public lands for decades. The bad news: It could take a decade or more to see pollution reduced. Please commend the EPA for working to clean the air at the Grand Canyon, but urge them to require cleanup measures in the next five years so we can soon breathe easier.

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Truman Site

Budget Cuts Hit Home—Harry Truman’s Home

Jeff Billington is the kind of history buff who relishes minute details. He reads up on scholarly works and eagerly tours historic sites around the country, peppering park rangers with obscure questions on everything from world leaders to wallpaper. That’s why he found the closures and cutbacks announced last month at one of his favorite parks particularly troubling. Read his appreciation for the painstakingly preserved Harry S Truman National Historic Site and why it was meant to be kept public.

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livestock fencing

Ode to a Fenceless Landscape

Historic livestock fences near the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park have long posed problems for pronghorn, bison, and elk that get caught in the wires, sometimes fatally, while trying to migrate through the region in search of food and shelter. Eager to help these remarkable native animals, one NPCA staff member shares her thoughts—and photos—after working with 25 volunteers to remove and adapt several miles of fencing to make it safer for wildlife.

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Merced River-Yosemite

A River Runs Through It

Yosemite in California is one of the most-visited national parks in the country. It also offers some of the most stunning views in America, thanks to the Merced Wild and Scenic River. The river’s federal protections extend to the surrounding land, including most of the Yosemite Valley. After years of debate and legal challenges, officials think they finally have a plan that would allow millions of people to continue flocking to the park and enjoying the river without damaging these sensitive waters. Can it be done?

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New Bridge Will Help Everglades Habitat

Last month, officials at Everglades National Park cut the ribbon on a one-mile bridge on the important access road known as Tamiami Trail. This high-priority restoration project will allow more water to flow under the road and into the park, improving habitat for wildlife. Park partners celebrated with an inaugural walk across the bridge, but the road ahead is much longer—the Park Service recommends building another 5.5 miles of bridging to restore water flows to this critical ecosystem.

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ParkScapes Travel

First Patriots & Future Presidents

Relive the American Revolution’s defining events with renowned historians as the actions of our nation’s first patriots unfold at national parks from Bunker Hill to Valley Forge. Free webinar on April 17.

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Photo: Independence Hall at Independence National Historical Park trekandshoot/Dreamstime

Your Purchases Can Support NPCA

Your Purchases Can Support NPCA

Let your purchases support NPCA when you use your NPCA credit card. Once you're approved for an NPCA affinity credit card, a contribution will be made to NPCA for every purchase you make with that card. Plus, NPCA receives a contribution for every affinity card account that is opened. Credit approval required. Terms and conditions apply. To learn more, visit

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Subscribe to National Parks Magazine


Check out the latest issue of National Parks magazine, which features compelling arguments about the value of species, a Death Valley vacation through Editor-in-Chief Scott Kirkwood’s eyes, and an intimate look into the lives of the Park Service’s most loyal and passionate trail builders.

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pop up book

America’s National Parks: A Pop-Up Book

A masterpiece of three-dimensional artwork, engineer Bruce Foster, illustrator Dave Ember, and author Don Compton have collaborated to create a new pop-up book showcasing national parks, and they are generously donating proceeds to NPCA. From wildflowers in the Smokies to Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park to wildlife at Glacier, these beautiful depictions spring from each page and delight the reader while sharing a love of our nation's best places.

» See the Book


“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
-Harriet Tubman
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