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APRIL 2014


12 of the Quirkiest National Park Animals

12 of the Quirkiest National Park Animals

National parks protect some of the most important wildlife habitats in the country—and all kinds of creatures make their homes in them. Here are a dozen of the oddest critters, as picked by NPCA staff.

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1,280 Reasons to Celebrate at Grand Teton

NPCA supporters are helping to save 1,280 acres at Grand Teton from the threat of development through a well-timed land-exchange deal in Wyoming. These lands, which look for all intents and purposes like part of the park, are actually owned by the state—and were up for sale. Thanks to public support and federal funding, these parcels are now on track to become part of the park.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes

An Overdue Dose of Wilderness

Last month, Congress approved a bill to designate 32,500 acres at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as a wilderness area. Congress had not designated new wilderness in five years—a record length of time—and this added level of protection will help the park’s fragile dunes, bluffs, and vegetation. Here’s what the change will actually mean for the lakeshore and its visitors.

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kids paddling

5 Tips for Exploring Nature with Kids

Many national parks offer nature on a large scale, with towering cliffs and mountains, panoramic vistas, and wide-open tundras and plains. But children often explore nature with a more finely focused lens, becoming fascinated by small details. Here are a few thoughtful ways to slow down, have fun, and enjoy parks at a kid’s pace.

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Bristol Bay bear

Good News for Alaska's Lake Clark

Over the past two years, NPCA supporters have sent more than 60,000 letters to the EPA expressing concern over a proposed mine near Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska. This industrial facility, if permitted, could become one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, threatening native salmon. Fortunately, the EPA is taking action against the mine—and you can support the agency.

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 Petrified Forest

The “Cursed” Thieves of Petrified Forest

A dead cat. A broken-down truck. A marriage on the fritz. Bad luck seems to follow people who steal rocks from Petrified Forest National Park—at least that’s what some guilt-ridden visitors believe. One curious tourist at this southwestern park became enthralled with the superstition attached to these pilfered trinkets and is now helping to curate the fascinating and sometimes tragic stories behind these “hot rocks.”

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Chatham Manor

Trivia Challenge: Guess This Park-Inspired Poet

April is National Poetry Month, and many well-known writers have had meaningful connections to national parks, from Carl Sandburg to Sir Francis Scott Key. One of America’s most famous poets has a particularly interesting park story. What famed 19th century writer was inspired to serve as a Civil War nurse after spending time at what is now Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park?

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ParkScapes Travel:
Tallgrass Prairie & the Flint Hills

Meander through eight-foot-tall grasses and late-season wildflowers in Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Join us October 3-7 for this newly revised itinerary. Space is limited.

» Get Trip Details

Photo Caption: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Ricardo Reitmeyer/iStockPhoto.



Check out the latest issue of National Parks magazine, which features articles about overly friendly goats in Olympic National Park, a doctor who prescribes park visits to her patients, enjoying the company of cacti at Organ Pipe Cactus National Park, and how national heritage areas are making America’s best idea even better.

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Green Your Travel

Green Your Park Travel

Planning on driving to a national park and enjoying all that it has to offer? Whether you are traveling by car, RV, or plane, with JustGreen’s “Green Your Park Travel” you can offset your vehicle’s emissions created by the roundtrip to the park. Not only will you be helping to preserve the environment, but 5% of every act of green will go toward supporting NPCA’s Clean Air and Climate program.

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April 15 Is Tax Day!

You could celebrate reduced taxes next year and increased income for the rest of your life if you take a serious look at NPCA’s Charitable Gift Annuity program today. If you are 60 or older, you could earn attractive rates of return on a charitable gift, based on your age at the time you make your gift. Get more information and a personalized illustration on NPCA’s website.

» Learn More


“Spring is nature's way of saying 'Let's party!'”
-Robin Williams
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