Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Happy 106th to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!

On August 1, 1916 the United States Congress adopted a bill to establish a National Park in the Territory of Hawaii. According to the National Park Service, the newly formed Hawaii National Park included the following land areas on Hawaii Island: 1) the Kīlauea Section (35,865 acres); 2) the Mauna Loa Section (17,920 acres); and 3) a strip of land to connect the two aforementioned sections. This Hawaii National Park also included Haleakalā on Maui which became a National Park on August 21, 1961.

In early June this summer, we spent a week on the Big Island, Hawaii, and got to visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

It was so cool to see Kilauea! In 2018, the summit of Kilauea collapsed making the caldera sink. Today, you look (from afar) to see the activity in the crater. Here’s a chart from NPS showing the 2018 caldera collapse.

Credit: NPS

Check out a few photos from our day at this national park. Volcanoes continue to fascinate me!

During the day, you only see smoke coming up.

Day view

At night, you can see the glow from the lava inside it. It’s so beautiful. The photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Night view

At the south side of the national park, you can see former lava flow from previous eruptions along the Chain of Craters Road.

This national park contains such unique sites, hikes, and drives to enjoy! Highly recommend visiting this national park if you’re on the Big Island in Hawaii!

Grand Canyon National Park

Happy 103 years to the Grand Canyon National Park!

President Teddy Roosevelt urged Americans to protect this great canyon, “What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see.”

For more information on this amazing park, check out a previous blog by clicking here.

Cheers to 103 years!

5 Ways Kids Can Make a Difference with the Climate

The United Nations Climate Change Conference recently took place in Glasgow. According to the U.N., “The Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the 1800s. We are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement target to keep global temperature from exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. That is considered the upper limit to avoid the worst fallout from climate change.”

These national headlines and statistics often make children feel helpless. Yet, children can make a difference today. My children’s novel provides an adventure that will help build children’s curiosity about animals and the world around them.

Here are 5 tips for helping children make a difference with climate change today:

  • Walk or bike to school. Find a classmate in the neighborhood to make it more fun.
  • Reuse returned homework and school paperwork as wrapping paper or letters for family. Grandparents, aunts, or uncles can see your old math homework wrapping up their gifts.
  • Avoid taking plastic bottled drinks and use the fountains or reusable containers.
  • Turn off the lights every time you leave the room. Turn it into a game or contest about family members keeping lights off.
  • Find rocks out in nature and decorate them as gifts for loved ones. Family loves homemade gifts especially for the holidays.

Children can take on these simple actions and feel a part of the community and that they’re making a difference. In the end, we all want to make a difference, even children.

Dinosaur National Monument

What do you call a T. Rex who hates losing? A saur loser! 🙂

Happy 106th anniversary to Dinosaur National Monument!

A few years ago, we traveled from California to Colorado. We really enjoyed this national monument! From the Quarry Visitor Center, we took a shuttle up to the Quarry Exhibit Hall. In this hall, you can see approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones.

In addition to this hall, you can check out carvings in the rocks, called petroglyphs, left by the Fremont people nearly 1,000 years ago. You can also take a hike, go camping, go fishing, or watch wildlife like elk or bighorn sheep there.

Definitely check out this national monument if you’re in the Utah or Colorado area.

To celebrate this anniversary or if you can’t wait to visit there, click here and check out their Junior Ranger activity book. 

National Trails System Act

The National Trails System Act created the National Trails System back today in 1968.  The Act created national trails to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access. The Act established four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and side or connecting trails.

The first two national scenic trails established under the Act were the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest trails. These two trails cover almost 5,000 miles between the two trails and go through some of our nation’s most beautiful areas. Today, the system consists of more than 60,000 miles.

Enjoy a fun map! Click here for a map of all the trails in the system.

To celebrate this 53rd anniversary, go and get out on a trail today!

Devils Postpile National Monument, CA

Wilderness Act

On this day 57 years ago, Congress established the Wilderness Act in 1964. Congress wanted to protect undeveloped and wild areas as an enduring resource for the American people. Today, this act protects 111 million acres of wilderness preserving more than 800 wilderness areas in states from Alaska to Florida.

This act created the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and immediately designated 54 areas into this system.  Some of the first wilderness areas created included Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming, Ansel Adams Wilderness in California, and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. Today, the National Park Service makes up about 56% of the land under NWPS with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management areas making up the rest.

Many benefits exist today from this land conservation including providing habitats for wildlife; clean air; clean drinking water; boosting local economies with tourism and recreation; and providing some really amazing places to escape and appreciate this great land here!

Fun fact: The largest wilderness area in the National Wilderness Preservation System is the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness, protecting more than nine million acres of Alaskan tundra and boreal forest.

Enjoy this anniversary and get out in the wilderness today!

National Trails Day

Happy National Trails Day today!  Today kicks off the Great Outdoors Month of June!

Did you know that there are over 18,000 miles of trails in the national park system? And did you know that there are 158,000 miles of trails in national forests and grasslands? So, we have lots of trails to explore in the United States!

Enjoy this day and month and find a trail to enjoy!  Happy National Trails Day! 

Wildflowers!

Last Sunday, we checked out the wildflowers blooming out in here in Northern California and the flowers did not disappoint!

Located about 10 miles north of Oroville, California, the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve provided the amazing views along their trails of these wildflowers.

These 3,300 acres created by ancient lava flows provide beautiful vistas of these wildflowers, waterfalls, lava outcrops, and a rare type of vernal pool, called Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools.

It’s a popular area right now due to the blooms, so be prepared to park a distance and to take a ton of photos.

Loved seeing these wildflowers in bloom and getting out in nature with the family!

Day Trip!

Last week, we journeyed to Yosemite National Park for the day. The kids had last week off and we needed a day out in nature! And nature did not disappoint!

We took the kids on four hikes and the lucked out on the last one with no crowds. We started the hike to Mirror Lake around 4pm and owned the trail. It can be hard to get away from people in Yosemite, but staying later paid off!

We had a really great day and loved spending a long day in a national park!

For a recent blog post about Yosemite National Park, click here.