Celebrate National Parks Week

Date:   April 19, 2004
Contact:   Andrea Keller, NPCA, 202-454-3332

Celebrate National Parks Week

Washington, D.C. - In celebration of National Parks Week, April 18–April 25, 2004, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has distributed a list of five ways Americans can help preserve the nation’s 387 national park sites.

“By sending an e-mail to an elected official or sharing a vacation photograph and cherished memory, we can remind all Americans of the importance of preserving our national heritage,” said NPCA President Tom Kiernan.

· Walk softly. When visiting the national parks, collect memories and photographs, not seashells, flowers, artifacts, or stones. Be sure to plan ahead and dispose of waste properly. Respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors.

· Park your car. Explore the parks on foot, by bicycle, or shuttle bus. You will see so much more and will help to keep the air in the national parks clean for your family and for the plants and wildlife that live there.

· Share your pictures. Share your vacation photos and memories in the National Park Scrapbook, created to inspire all Americans to appreciate and care for our national parks.

· Write a letter. Many people love the national parks, but most don’t know that our parks need greater funding and protection. Learn more about park needs and write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or to your congressperson. If you express your concern for the parks, it might just compel your neighbors to get involved.

· Volunteer. Locate and contact a national park site nearby that needs help. Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, needs volunteers to hike and photograph park trails with an eye out for acts of vandalism or erosion. Volunteers at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, might help maintain the gardens outside of Edgar Allen Poe’s small brick house, where he wrote some of his most famous tales.

“Our parks need greater attention,” Kiernan added. NPCA’s new report, Endangered Rangers, chronicles the crippling impact of insufficient staffing on funding on national park science and research, law enforcement, and even the experiences of visitors this summer.


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