Celebrating the National Park Service’s Centennial

August 24, 2016

grand-1434695_1280Since the creation of the National Park Service (NPS) on August 25, 1916, more than 275 million people visit the natural and cultural resources every year!

The seed for the national park idea was planted in 1864 with the passage of the Yosemite Grant. In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill creating Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the history of the world. This trend continued with the signing of the Antiquities Act of 1906, by the great lover of nature, President Theodore Roosevelt, who sought to protect scientific items of cultural heritage. The Act further prohibited the removal of cultural items from Federal lands without a permit. At that time, permits were granted by the agency managing that particular monument, especially the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture. Hence, monuments were managed by various agencies.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service, but it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in 1933 consolidated the stewardship of all national monuments and parks under the NPS. In 1935, through the Historic Sites Act, the US publically declared its goal to protect and preserve cultural heritage sites. Since then, Presidential administrations have classified more and more sites as cultural heritage. Thus far, we have close to 400 cultural heritage sites. The Obama administration alone is responsible for adding 18 of them.

9780160932090We invite you to browse the U.S. Government Bookstore’s National Parks collection. It includes everything from posters, maps, and park guides to coloring books for children. Of particular interest is the National Parks Index 2012 – 2016: 2016 National Park Service Centennial: Official Index of the National Park Service. This index is a complete administrative listing of the National Park System’s areas and related areas, including historical documentation to distinguish between the types of National Park Service sites. It has been revised to reflect congressional actions. The entries, grouped by state, include administrative addresses and phone numbers, dates of authorization and establishment, boundary change dates, acreages, website addresses, and brief statements explaining the areas’ national significance.

024-005-01271-1You can also experience a little of what the NPS has to offer in the Washington, D.C. area through the pamphlet, “National Park Service: Where History Happens,” on sale via the U.S. Government Bookstore. Learn more about the D.C. area’s most historic attractions: where Abraham Lincoln died or where Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I Have a Dream…” speech. Visit Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, seemingly completely frozen in time, as workers cultivate the farm using the same techniques and tools as in Washington’s  era.

America’s heritage includes monuments, parks, recreational sites, parkways, and many other things. Layer upon layer, time upon time, when we look at these structures we are not just looking at our past, we are learning from it so we can build a better tomorrow. History is always being made; the unheard of yesterday is being made possible today.

Below is a list of handpicked resources for those interested in learning more. Find these resources via govinfo, the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

govinfo – https://www.govinfo.gov/features/national-park-service-centennial

  1. History of H.R. 3556 – A bill to prepare the National Park Service for its Centennial in 2016 and for a second century of protecting our national parks’ natural, historic, and cultural resources for present and future generations, and for other purposes
  1. 160 Cong. Rec. H3254 – NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE COIN ACT
  1. REPT. 106-250 – ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications – http://catalog.gpo.gov/

  1. National Park Service: Where History Happens
  1. National Registry of Natural Landmarks
  1. The Secretary of the Interior’s standards for the treatment of historic properties : with guidelines for preserving, rehabilitating, restoring & reconstructing historic buildings
  1. National historic landmarks listed by state or territory
  1. Presenting nature : the historic landscape design of the National Park Service, 1916 to 1942
  1. National Park Service administrative history : a guide

U.S. Government Online Bookstore – http://bookstore.gpo.gov

  1. National Park Service: Where History Happens
  1. Washington: The Nation’s Capital (2013 Map)
  1. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (ePub eBook)
  1. National Trails System: Map and Guide, 2010 Edition
  1. National Park System (Wall Map Poster)
  1. Great American Landmarks Adventure
  1. The National Parks: Shaping the System
  1. Yellowstone: A Natural and Human History, Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
  2. Underground Railroad: Official Map and Guide (Folder)

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

You can click on the links above in the blog or through any of these methods:

 Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Mohammed Butt is a Technical Services Librarian in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management unit.


This 100-Year-Old National Park is Still Going Strong

July 29, 2016

There’s a national park on the Hawaiian island of Maui where the warm sun bakes a volcanic basin and balmy breezes float through a bamboo forest. The place is called Haleakalā National Park. And on August 1, 2016, it marks its 100th birthday.

CraterHaleakalā is pronounced ha-leh-ah-kah-lah. It means “house of the sun” in Native Hawaiian. When American writer Mark Twain first came to Haleakalā in 1866, he described it as “the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed, and I think the memory of it will remain with me always.” The National Park Service (NPS) wants kids to have a similar experience. Its Haleakala Junior Ranger Activity Booklet, available through GPO, is prefect way to celebrate the centennials of both Haleakalā and NPS.

024-005-01319-9Haleakala Junior Ranger Activity Booklet

The park has two separate sections—a 10,023 ft. shield volcano flanking the east side stands in stark contrast to the azure Kipahulu coast. A vast subalpine moonscape plummets into a subtropical rainforest that rings a craggy, palm-lined shore. Over 80% of the park is wilderness. A sacred place in the lore of Native Hawaiians, Haleakalā “protects the last or only home to plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.” In fact, it hosts more endangered species than any other national park in the U.S.

Haleakala Booklet pg 6

Click on image to enlarge.

Haleakalā’s “stories, sights, and traditions” are well captured in the activity booklet. There’s plenty to give your junior ranger (or yourself!) a hands-on experience with earth science, biodiversity, and Hawaiian culture. Entertaining games—on such topics as the volcano lifecycle, lava rocks, hiking trails, Nēnē geese, habitats, and the Hawaiian alphabet—are a great way for young explorers to learn about a piece of America’s natural heritage.

Snag your copy of the Haleakala Junior Ranger Activity Booklet and plan your family visit to the unique wilds of the “house of the sun.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Explore the Nation’s Capital

July 6, 2016

Washington D.C. is the nation’s capital and is one of the most exciting and vibrant travel spots in America, especially in the good ole summertime. You can jump start your travel plans to the Nation’s Capital with the following publications, available from the U.S. Government Bookstore.

9780160929892A fun teaching tool, the White House Junior Ranger Activity Book Guide Book can teach your kids about the history of the White House in three easy steps. Buy it in advance of your trip to DC so the kids can equip themselves with cool facts about our President’s home.

024-005-00974-4Lincoln Memorial: A Guide to the Lincoln Memorial, District of Columbia is your introduction to the majestic memorial set at the far west end of the Mall. Learn about an iconic President and the imposing memorial representing his legacy of freedom. Your visit will be richer for it.

052-070-07481-7There’s no more beautiful site in Washington than the Botanic Garden in full summer bloom. A Botanic Garden for the Nation: The United States Botanic Garden offers a tour of this natural treasure that explodes with color and biodiversity.

Don’t just take our advice. Visit washington.org to discover more about your nation’s capital.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Yosemite: “Less a Place than an Experience”

June 29, 2016

June 30 is the anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, the birth of the national park idea. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act in 1864. In October of the following year, 40,000 acres of sublime glacier-carved California wilderness debuted under the name Yosemite Valley—now the most visited portion of today’s larger Yosemite National Park.

1864 photo of Yosemite Valley by Charles Leander Weed

1864 photo of Yosemite Valley by Charles Leander Weed

Although the inaugural act did not make Yosemite the first national park, the grant did set the stage for the formation of national park system in later years. It was the first time the U.S. Government moved to protect wild lands.

The National Park Service’s publication “A Sense of Place: Design Guidelines for Yosemite National Park” is available now through the U.S. Government Online Bookstore:

A Sense of Place: Design Guidelines for Yosemite National Park

024-005-01295-8This book conveys design knowledge from park service professionals who have devoted their careers to respecting the natural feel, rhythm, and patterns of what is, as former National Park Service Deputy Director John J. Reynolds writes in the opener, “less a place than an experience.” Their designs have been considerate of a wilderness of “immense rock forms, thundering waterfalls, pristine wilderness, serene meadows, and ancient groves of sequoias.”

Thus, these design guidelines operate as an ethic, a set principles to guide sustainable architectural and landscape work and maintain the distinctive character of Yosemite. It’s a reference book for anyone working to make the built environment compatible with the incomparable natural surroundings. And it’s an assurance that all structures and facilities will be aligned with the park’s values and spirit. Maps and historical images tell the tale of a natural splendor that has endured because of this very conscientiousness and reverence.

President Theodore Roosevelt called Yosemite a “great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.” A serene valley protected for public use and preservation in the midst of the Civil War became a piece of America’s natural heritage. Yosemite continues to draw visitors and conservationists from around the world. With the right design guidelines in place, it will continue to inspire generations of Americans to find peace in the masterpieces of nature.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


A Way for Kids to Celebrate the National Park Centennial

June 6, 2016

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service (NPS). The agency was entrusted with a mission to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

024-005-01321-1This year, the National Park Service launches a second century of environmental stewardship and historic preservation. As NPS looks to its next 100, it invites everyone, especially kids, to experience one of over 400 national parks and monuments.

Children can join the national parks birthday celebration with the Centennial Junior Ranger activity booklet. It’s an activity-filled, adventure-based guide to explore, learn, and have fun in natural places. I’ll let some of the pages from this colorful, informative guide do the talking…click on each image to enlarge.

024-005-01321-1_p6-7

024-005-01321-1_p10-11

024-005-01321-1_p14-15

This booklet comes with a bonus! Upon completing select activities, kids can bring the booklet to any national park visitor center to receive an official Junior Ranger badge.

As part of NPS’ Every Kid in a Park program, admission to all national parks is free for the entire year for fourth graders and their families. And with several fee-free days scheduled throughout 2016, it’s possible to get every kid and every family in a park. The more that people care about America’s special outdoor wonderlands, the more likely they will be around in 2116.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


This National Park Week, Be a Junior Ranger!

April 14, 2016

April 16-24 is National Park week and 2016 is the National Park Service’s (NPS) centennial year. National parks symbolize America’s spirit of discovery. Although protected today, parks need stewardship for tomorrow. The NPS activity-based Junior Ranger program aims to turn young visitors into lifelong enthusiasts. GPO makes available several park-specific booklets to help 5- to 12-year-olds explore “America’s best idea.”

The White House Junior Ranger Activity Guide

Home. Workplace. Museum. And National Park! The White House, home to every president and first family since 1800, is the only building in the world that fits all those categories. Since 1933, The White House has operated under the National Park System. That piece of presidential acreage sees millions of visitors each year. Now there’s a new fact-filled White House guide that appeals to both kids and adults.

9780160929892This booklet drops some great presidential trivia. Abigail Adams used the East Room to hang laundry. Dolly Madison saved a famous painting of George Washington from the War of 1812 fire. Edith Wilson was the first to showcase custom patterned china. All White House occupants leave a visible impression but first ladies drive the story of expansion, design, and entertainment. Beyond aesthetics, the booklet points out that first ladies were “champions for change.” President Harry Truman understood this well. He often introduced First Lady Elizabeth Truman as “the Boss.”

The booklet includes several pages of post-tour activities, including a President’s Park walking map, first family puzzle, and the ABC’s of architecture. Tip for parents: kids can present their booklet to a White House Visitor Center to be sworn in as a badged and certified Junior Ranger!

Redwood National and State Parks Junior Ranger Activity Booklet

Redwood Trees looking up Source: www.nps.gov

Redwood Trees looking up: http://www.nps.gov

Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth. Living fossil records. But decades of commercial logging nearly decimated old-growth redwood forests of the North Coast region. In this booklet, Ranger Jim points out that “about 95% of the original coast redwood forest was cut down.” Although that statistic is dismaying, take heart. NPS is the capable caretaker of those special giants.

024-005-01316-4The booklet has dozens of activities families can complete while exploring redwood areas. Play tide pool bingo, be a tree detective, and fish for the right color. Write your observations in the ranger beach report. Solve the octopus tree mystery. Keep track of badge points. The fun and fascination are as endless as the redwoods are tall.

Next time you visit a national park, take a fact-filled activity booklet along!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Black History Month: The Underground Railroad

February 5, 2016

February is Black History Month. It calls upon all Americans to honor African-American expressions of sacrifice and heroism throughout history. The earliest endeavors in the national civil rights struggle have much to do with the outcry against human bondage.

Prior to the Civil War, organized abolitionists were aided by the loosely interconnected Underground Railroad. Neither underground nor railroad, the UGGR, as it was known to patrons, was a scattered, clandestine network of antislavery diehards and freed blacks. Secret routes and safe houses dotted the antebellum landscape spanning from Georgia to Canada. Between the peak years of 1830 and 1865, it helped as many as one hundred thousand fugitive slaves escape to freedom.

Harriet Tubman (Library of Congress)

Harriet Tubman (Library of Congress)

Harriet Tubman, a UGGR conductor, remarked upon on her eight years spent freeing slaves: “I can say what most conductors can’t say—I never run my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” Tubman became a revered voice in the protest against the debasing injustices of slavery. In 2013, President Obama established the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument. You can read the park pamphlet available through GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Today, the Underground Railroad is an atypical national park. It wasn’t until the 1990s that it came under the jurisdiction the National Park Service (NPS). After conducting a study of UGGR operations and primary routes, NPS was entrusted with its preservation and interpretation. You can read the act establishing the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom on GPO’s govinfo.gov.

024-005-01185-4In addition, the U.S. Government Bookstore makes available the following National Park Service publications:

Underground Railroad: Official Map and Guide

Underground Railroad: Official National Park Handbook

Discovering the Underground Railroad: Junior Ranger Activity Book

The Underground Railroad connected sympathizers with freedom seekers, freed with enslaved. The untold numbers of underground success stories sprouted above ground into a vast nexus of advocates and defenders. Unquestionably, the UGGR ride to freedom helped lay the tracks for the civil rights movement of the 20th century. During this Black History Month, may we admire that extraordinary effort to liberate a people and the larger African-American journey to freedom in all its forms.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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