Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska
Summer is the perfect time to visit Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska. Explore the great outdoors along the park's many trails, where you can observe migrating salmon and experience a temperate rain forest under towering trees. History buffs will enjoy daily ranger-led tours of the Russian Bishop's House--one of the few surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America--offered every 30 minutes May through September. Renovated to its 1853 appearance, the Bishop's house dates back to when Sitka was the colonial capitol under Russian Imperial rule.
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From the park you can venture to nearby Castle Hill, a National Historic Landmark and an Alaska state park, where Russia officially transferred the region to the United States in a flag ceremony on October 18, 1867.
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OUR LATEST CAMPAIGN
The National Parks Protection Project
Right now Congress is making critical decisions about next year's budget. Because of the risk of additional budget cuts for our parks, NPCA has launched the National Parks Protection Project.
A compilation of park profiles, videos, individual stories, and an action center, the National Parks Protection Project allows us to show both Congress and the American people why it is important to adequately fund the national parks for our children and grandchildren.
Using just 1/13 of one percent of the federal budget, our national parks not only protect America's heritage, they are important to local economies nationwide. Research shows that every federal dollar invested in national parks generates at least four dollars of economic value for the American people. National parks support more than $13 billion of local private-sector economic activity and nearly 270,000 private-sector jobs.
The federal government has a responsibility to keep our national parks adequately funded. The National Parks Protection Project is your opportunity to let Congress know why you love and support our national parks.
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PARKS IN THE NEWS
Friends Help NPCA Celebrate 92 years of Protecting Our National Parks
On May 19, NPCA celebrated its 92nd Birthday. To commemorate the occasion, we welcomed volunteers, allies, partners, friends, and special guests to the new headquarters in Washington, D.C. Established and christened in 1919 by the same people who founded the Park Service, the National Park Association (NPA) was renamed the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in 2000. Throughout these 92 years, NPCA has grown to represent more than 600,000 members and supporters and is now recognized as the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System's most significant lands and landmarks for today's generations, and the many generations that will follow.
PARKS IN THE NEWS
Everglades Funding Vital to Ecology and Economy
Despite overwhelming support, funding for Everglades restoration will be drastically cut, according to the new budget that Florida's legislature has sent for approval to newly elected governor Rick Scott. According to polls, state residents overwhelmingly oppose the cuts. For Floridians, protecting the breathtaking beauty and the rare and endangered birds and animals is a matter of pride. But it's about more than just preserving nature. Residents understand that defending the ecology of the Everglades means protecting the economy of Florida. The Everglades supply water to six million people--a third of the state--and clean, affordable water is what draws residents, businesses, and legions of tourists to south Florida. NPCA is continuing to work with the South Florida Water Management District and to educate new legislators to ensure that these cuts focus on reducing administrative overhead and do not reduce the benefits of restoring America's Everglades.
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PARKS IN THE NEWS
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Named Among Best Beaches for Families
Just in time for summer, Parents Magazine has published a list of "The 10 Best Beaches for Families" and one of our beloved national parks is on the list! Bet you'd never guess that it's West Beach at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore...unless you've been there, of course, and know just how great it is.
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NPCA AT WORK IN THE PARKS
NPCA is Leading the Way Toward Sustainable Park Transport
NPCA's Central Valley Field Office, located in Fresno, California, has spent the last five years advocating for a public transportation system that would shuttle park visitors between Fresno and Yosemite National Park. Right now, there's no mass-transit service linking these areas, even though improved access to the parks could dramatically lower traffic congestion within the park, and improve air quality for Central Valley residents as well as visitors. NPCA's advocacy has generated a lot of excitement around the project, and several agencies--including the National Park Service--are working to secure funding to launch a pilot project in Yosemite by summer 2012.
NPCA AT WORK IN THE PARKS
Indiana Dunes Part of the First National Recreation Trail on the Great Lakes
Chicago-area guidebooks often note the sandy beaches, dramatic urban skyline, and nearby sand dunes that run along Lake Michigan's southern shoreline; now they can add a nationally recognized paddling route to their description. In May, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated a 75-mile stretch of the lake as a National Recreation Trail (NRT), the first "water trail" on the Great Lakes to receive this accolade.
Through the cooperation of public and private landowners, this trail--which extends north of the city along the entire length of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore--provides a number of safe and publicly accessible entry and exit points to Lake Michigan. Partners in support of this national designation, including NPCA, hope it's the first step in what will become a trail around the entire shoreline of Lake Michigan.
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OUR LATEST REPORT
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: Impact and Opportunity
A new study conducted by the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio examines the economic impact of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and finds that these historic sites provide a tremendous economic boost for surrounding communities.
The economic impact, as summarized in NPCA's latest report, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: Impact and Opportunity, shows that for every federal dollar invested in the park in 2009, $20 was generated in local economic activity. The research also highlighted the opportunities to more than double the park's economic impact by 2016--creating jobs and increasing visitor spending. Not only would these initiatives provide an economic boost for south San Antonio they would help complete the story and adequately preserve valuable historic resources at San Antonio Missions.
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Growing is Forever
Craving an escape to California's ancient coastal forests? Check out this short, poetic video about Redwoods National and State Parks by filmmaker Jesse Rosten and writer Kallie Markle.
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The 10 Best of Everything National Parks
National parks are more than America's best idea--they're our country's best playgrounds for millions of vacationers who want to enjoy recreational activities, nature and wildlife, and restorative time alone or with friends and family. This timely, idea-filled guide covers "classic" parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national battlefields, national scenic trails, and beyond. As the temperature reaches into the upper digits, consider a dip at the best swimming holes our national parks have to offer--courtesy of National Geographic's latest "The 10 Best of Everything" book series:
Ten Best Parks—Swimming Holes
- Big Bend National Park – Hot Springs Historic District
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area – Freshwater Springs, Pools, Creeks, and Lakes
- Haleakala National Park – Seven Sacred Pools
- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument – Lightfeather and Jordan Hot Springs
- Olympic National Park – Sol Duc Hot Springs
- Sequoia National Park – Kern Hot Springs
- Death Valley National Park – Saline Valley Warm Springs
- Point Reyes National Seashore – Bass Lake
- Shenandoah National Park – Big Rock Falls
- Yellowstone National Park – Boiling River
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