Arts in the Parks

August 9, 2017

Since 1916, The National Park Service (NPS) has been conserving, preserving, and making its National Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Monuments accessible. The Library of Congress has a collection which provides an overview of the American conservation movement which inspired the Government to preserve and protect America’s natural resources. In addition to working to physically maintain sites, the NPS strives to keep and curate the stories and images created in and inspired by its more than 400 sites which include: national parks, preserves, monuments, historical parks, and other sites. The Arts in the Parks Program  provides links to resources ranging from sculpture gardens to grants for artists.

The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont, has more than 500 works of art including nature and landscape paintings by artists of the Hudson River School. See the book Art and the American Conservation Movement to learn more about their collections and the movement.

William Henry Jackson lived in the West while working for the U.S. Geological Survey. As a professional photographer, he captured some of the earliest images of Yellowstone Park, the Tetons Mountains, and Mesa Verde. He also sketched and painted. An Eye for History: The Paintings of William Henry Jackson showcases his collection which is now owned by the Scotts Bluff National Monument’s Oregon Trail Museum.

The book Treasured Landscapes: National Park Service Art Collections Tell America’s Stories and the accompanying online exhibit bring together artwork from more than 50 NPS museum collections.

A Photographer’s Path: Images of National Parks Near the Nation’s Capital uses photographs to capture the beauty of NPS sites in the National Capitol Region.

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: Cynthia Earman is a Cataloging & Metadata Librarian in the Library Services & Content Management division of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.


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.


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.

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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.


No-Vacation Nation? Take Time to Enjoy Our National Parks and Trails

August 13, 2013

Vacation-Time-Goes-Unused-in-USAmericans are generally extroverted, friendly, talkative—and apparently, workaholics. As the Europeans put it, Americans live to work, while they work to live.

Image source: From infographic on lack of vacation time in U.S. Produced by Column Five for Rasmussen College.

Studies by various travel companies and polling groups have shown that Americans are among the group of nationalities that take the least amount of vacation (others being the Japanese, Taiwanese, South Koreans, Singaporeans, and Mexicans). Part of the reason may be that the United States is the only developed nation in the world that does not guarantee any paid holidays for workers by law. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded in a recent report that only seventy-two percent of wage earners in the United States received both holidays and paid vacations voluntarily granted by their employers. The rest of the employed population does not get paid vacation.

It’s unfortunate that Americans regularly skip using all their allotted vacation days*. [*See also: Schwartz, Tony (February 10, 2013). “Relax! You’ll Be More ProductiveThe New York Times.] Surveys of people in the U.S. report that they do not feel their bosses support taking leave, and they fear that being away from work looks like they are not committed to their jobs. Understandably, workers are afraid to look less than absolutely dedicated in this job market. Looking at our lack of vacation days and our failure to take advantage of them, one could conclude that we are not a well-rested people.

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Image: December 2012 infographic on why Americans don’t take more vacation time. Created by: Ally Bank from various public sources.

However, health researchers, sleep researchers, and psychologists have found that there is a direct correlation between rest and good health, and rest and productivity. Taking your vacation is almost a tonic against occupational stress.

Stop and Smell the Roses at a National Park or Trail

National Park System Map and Guide  ISBN: 9780912627878 available from http://bookstore.gpo.govIf you do get a paid vacation and have been putting off your annual jaunt, it’s time to sit down and plan one before summer ends. Many Federal Government agencies offer great resources for planning your next vacation or recreational activity.

For example, three excellent publications from the National Park Service– National Trails System: Map and Guide, National Park System Map and Guide, and the National Park System (Wall Map Poster) — can aid you in planning your trip to America’s best vacation destinations, our national parks and trails!

While most Americans are familiar with our fabulous national parks, fewer are aware of our 45 year-old National Trails System which is…

National Trails System Map and Guide“…the network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968. These trails provide for outdoor recreation needs, promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources, and encourage public access and citizen involvement.” (National Park Service)

With the help of these National Park Service maps, you can hike interesting trails and learn history while you are appreciating the outdoors and getting a workout. Or you can pick a national park you’ve never visited before, and experience something new to spur your creativity. If you enjoy visiting cities, pick a park not far outside of town so that you could get a taste of nature in addition to some cultural experiences.

For example, the Washington, DC, area where the Government Printing Office is headquartered is a prime tourist and staycation destination with its many national parks and historic sites. Our Washington DC Area Tourism & Recreation collection includes maps, history and guidebooks about the area, including the new 2013 Washington DC tourism map by the National Park Service that includes all the newest monuments and museums. and the wonderful Capital Engineers: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Development of Washington, D.C. 1790-2004, (reviewed earlier on Government Book Talk blog) that tells “The Untold Story Behind the Engineering of Washington DC” and its many famous landmarks.

Once you pick a park, search the Web site recreation.gov to find the activities available there. If you look at the National Park system map and find yourself spoiled for choice, you may be able to narrow down your options when you discover the types of activities available at the parks. And if you are interested in vacationing in a city or a resort, but want to hit a nearby recreation center, you can search for alternatives just by entering a city or zip code. For example, if you plan to visit Las Vegas, but you’d like some time to enjoy rock climbing, too, you might rent a car for the day and drive to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 12.57 miles from the city center. Most of the National Parks have guidebooks available to help you plan your trip: a number of them are available for sale from the U.S. Government Bookstore.

Of course, the money and time needed for a vacation are no joke. You may be one of the unlucky 28% that does not get a paid vacation. Or getting time off work may just be impossible. If any one of those factors applies to you, try a weekend getaway someplace nearby instead. The National Park Service has suggestions for quick breaks or “staycations” all the country. Once you’ve selected a site, you can fine-tune your plans with the information about reservations and camping available at recreation.gov.

Support for Your Pursuit of Happiness

As our nation has declared the pursuit of happiness a self-evident truth and an inalienable right, it seems we have a patriotic duty to pursue a holiday. The Federal government definitely supports your vacation. After all, each one of our modern presidents has set a prime example for the people by taking vacations to better handle the rigors of the job. As President Nixon put it: “Like other presidents, before and after me, I felt the need to get out of the White House and out of Washington in order to keep some sense of perception.”

Obamas-at-Grand-CanyonImage: U.S. President Barack Obama and family vacationing at the Grand Canyon National Park in August 2009. Source: White House. 

How can the public find these tourism and recreation maps and guidebooks?

How can Federal Depository librarians access these publications?

  • Find the records for these titles via the cataloging records in GPO’s Catalog of Government Publication or CGP.
  • Find them in a federal depository library.

About the author(s): Adapted from an original article on the FDLP Community Blog by Jennifer K. Davis from GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division that supports the Federal Depository Libraries Program (FDLP). Editor and additional content by: Government Book Talk Editor-in-Chief and , GPO Promotions & Ecommerce Manager, Michele Bartram.


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