Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks

TRAILBLAZING: 100 Years of our National Parks

Did you know that a village at the bottom of the Grand Canyon eats most of its mail? Or that one of America’s newest national park units was once so secret it used multiple undercover addresses? Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks, a two-year temporary exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, chronicles these and numerous other intersections between the mail and our national parks. Featuring original postage stamp art from the United States Postal Service and artifacts loaned by the National Park Service, Trailblazing explores the myriad and sometimes surprising ways that mail moves to, through, and from our national parks.

AAA Survey Shows Increased Interest Interest in National Parks

AAA Survey Shows Increased Interest in National Parks

National Parks are more popular than ever! According to a AAA study, 79% of Americans say they are as likely or more likely to visit a national park in the next 12 months, likely building on the momentum of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary next month.

The survey found that 85% of adults have visited at least one national park, and more than 70% say national parks are a "must-see" vacation destination. Even the nation's most sought-after demographic - Millennials - is expressing a greater interest in parks with 46% saying they are more likely to visit a national park in the next year, outpacing both Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Great Outdoors Month 2016 Successes

Great Outdoors Month® 2016 has been the most successful Great Outdoors Month of all time! Two signature events (Partners Outdoors 2016 and the GO West Campout), 18 Capital and Governor’s Campouts, thousands of partner events across the country and more have helped introduce millions of Americans to their public lands and waters. Once again, the President and all 50 governors proclaimed June Great Outdoors Month®. Private partners like Great Outdoors Month® Founding Sponsor The Coleman Company, Airstream, Zip Firestarters, Grand Teton Lodge Company, Xanterra, Forever Resorts, BACK TO NATURE Macaroni & Cheese Dinners and more joined in efforts to promote healthy, active outdoor fun in the great outdoors. And new federal actions are working towards making the great outdoors more accessible to every American.

2016 Beacon Awards

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Washington, D.C. (June 1, 2016) - Five federal efforts have won Beacon Awards in 2016 from the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) for outstanding successes in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and federal recreation program management. Winners were selected from efforts of four federal agencies. Beacon Awards were first presented by the American Recreation Coalition in 2005. Nominations are made by federal agencies and are judged against the award criteria, which are:

The American Recreation Coalition and the US Forest Service are Teaming Up to Use Mobile Gaming Technology to Get Kids Outdoors

This news release is available as a PDF here

Jackson Hole, Wyoming June 13, 2016: As an exciting wrap up to this year's Great Outdoors Western Campout in Jackson, WY, the U.S. Forest Service is pleased to announce the launch of the Discovery Agents mobile game at Bridger-Teton National Forest. On Tuesday, June 14 at the Snow King Resort, 18 western governors will join families with fourth graders and grab their mobile devices to step into an exciting world of outdoor exploration through virtual reality and geo-located challenges.

Great Outdoors Western Campout Aids Governors' Efforts Boosting Outdoor Fun

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Washington, D.C. (May 3, 2016) – Families with 4th graders from across the western United States will meet in Grand Teton National Park for the first-ever Great Outdoors Western Campout and enjoy a high dose of healthy, active outdoor fun. Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, who also chairs the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) – in cooperation with the Great Outdoors Month® Partnership – will host the families June 10-15 in and around Jackson, Wyoming. The event will celebrate Great Outdoors Month® and the National Park Service Centennial, as well as coincide with the WGA summer meeting, where the social and economic impact of outdoor recreation will be a major topic.

Recreation Community Expresses Support for Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account

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Washington, DC (April 28, 2016) – Leading members of the recreation community recently applauded U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s announcement of the creation of a pilot Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) to assess the economic significance of outdoor recreation. The account will be a joint action between the Federal Recreation Council and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

National Park Campgrounds of the Future Will Be Focus of Wyoming Meeting

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Washington, D.C. - Camping in America’s national parks and at other federal recreation sites has created indelible memories for generations of Americans. Yet as the nation’s demography and lifestyles change, overnight stays in our parks and other federal lands have declined even as sales of outdoor equipment and recreation vehicles have grown. Top recreation leaders from the public and private sectors will meet during Great Outdoors Month® to discuss ways to sustain the role of these campgrounds as a gateway to life-long experiences in the outdoors.

On EKiaP Day of Action, White House Announces Commitments to Getting Nearly Half a Million Kids Outside

Today, the White House is announcing that more than two dozen foundations, companies and nonprofit organizations have signed on to the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative, committing to funding trips to America’s national parks and other public lands and waters for nearly half a million 4th grade children. This announcement is just one of many events happening across the country to celebrate National Park Week and the centennial year of the National Park Service.

Launched in September 2015, the Every Kid in a Park initiative provides all 4th graders and their families with free access to our country’s public lands and waters for a full year. Since the launch of the initiative, private companies, nonprofits and other youth-serving groups have responded to the President’s call to action to get all children to visit and enjoy America’s unparalleled outdoors, taking action to ensure that all children can have this opportunity. In addition to demonstrating the breadth of support for Every Kid in a Park, today’s commitments include several new steps to expand the initiative, including the launch of a public awareness campaign and website,, a commitment from outdoor retailer REI to fund trips for all 4th graders in Washington D.C. public schools, and a 75 percent Amtrak discount for 4th graders with an Every Kid in a Park pass when purchased with a full fare adult ticket.

National Park Service Launches Redesigned Website

National Park Service Launches Redesigned Website

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) has launched a redesigned website. The website has a new look and added features to help visitors find information quickly. “The new design is the result of a multi-year effort to transform into a world-class digital experience and communications tool,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “I think the best part of the redesign is that now works great on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.”