I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see an island again. I dream about sandy beaches and waves coming in and out. I dream about the salty air. I dream about the clear, blue skies. I dream about the warm breeze.
Well, I decided to take this dream and go virtual! It’s not 2020 anymore, but we still can’t travel yet. So, here I go. Come with me! I’m traveling to the Virgin Islands National Park! Virtually!
Did you know that 2/3 of the St. John Island of the Virgin Islands is a national park? Virgin Islands National Park is more than just beautiful beaches. You can hike to plantation ruins to learn about a time when sugar dominated the island or visit the ancient petroglyphs carved by the Taino Indians. This area has a lot of interesting history here.
President Calvin Coolidge designated the General Grant in Kings Canyon National Park as the Nation’s Christmas Tree on April 28, 1926 after a little girl exclaimed, “what a wonderful Christmas tree it would be!” back in 1924 while looking up at it.
Colonel John White, longtime Park Superintendent, expressed the feeling that brings people here year after year, “We are gathered here around a tree that is worthy of representing the spirit of America on Christmas Day. That spirit is best expressed in the plain things of life, the love of the family circle, the simple life of the out-of-doors. The tree is a pillar that is a testimony that things of the spirit transcend those of the flesh.”
May this special spirit be with you these holidays!
Construction started on this iconic building back 228 years ago in Washington DC. Every President except George Washington has resided here since 1800. The White House stands about 55,000 square feet, six floors, and has 132 rooms.
At various times in history, the White House has been known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.” President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.
“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has.” ~Abraham Lincoln, August 22, 1864
Happy 105th anniversary to Dinosaur National Monument!
A few years ago, we planned a vacation to Colorado and we planned on driving from California to Colorado. At the time, our son loved dinosaurs! I mean really loved them and even talked about growing up to become a paleontologist! After some discussions and checking out the routes, we decided to stop by this national monument and check it out.
We really enjoyed this national monument! Our son loved seeing real dinosaur fossils!
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! There are even some places where you can touch them!
Our future paleontologist loved this national monument!
Beyond the dinosaurs, there is much more to do in the monument. For example, 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.
Happy 130th anniversary to Yosemite National Park!
In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation creating the nation’s third national park. The establishment of Yosemite National Park preserved over 1,500 square miles of land.
Yosemite National Park is located in central California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Yosemite ignites many images when you say its name. It’s hard not to picture the iconic Half Dome or Yosemite Falls. You can also find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.
This park has some cool history facts here too. For one, America’s first female park ranger in the National Park Service came from Yosemite National Park. I highlighted Clare Marie Hodges in this blog post here.
Yosemite has a long history with junior rangers. It had a Junior Nature School that was organized in June 1930 and went until 1954. Could you pass a 1933 junior ranger test? The national park service has one on their website. Try it here.
Definitely put Yosemite National Park on your bucket list of places to visit and check out the cool landscapes and history at this national park! As of now, you need reservations to visit here, so make sure to check out their website.
Happy 130th anniversary to Sequoia National Park! On this day, President Harrison signed legislation creating America’s second national park. It was the first national park created to protect the giant sequoia trees from logging.
We visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park a few weeks ago and loved spending some quality time in both national parks. Enjoy a few photos from Sequoia National Park.
If you plan on visiting this national park soon, make sure to check it out online due to the neighboring wildfire and COVID-19. I highly recommend visiting this national park, but make sure to follow the guidelines and closures.
John Muir reflected that giant sequoia groves are “not like places, they are like haunts.”
On this day 56 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 750 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!
Go enjoy this anniversary and get out in the wilderness today!
100 years ago, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified as part of the U.S. Constitution. The 19th Amendment protects women’s right to vote by prohibiting the federal and state governments from denying citizens from voting based on sex.
The National Park Service along with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and public media organization PRX partnered together to create a podcast, The Magic Sash, about the courageous suffragists who worked to secure the right to vote for American women.
According to the National Park Service, The Magic Sash is a journey back in time hosted by gold medal gymnast and advocate Aly Raisman. Join Lotty and Isaiah, two very modern fifth graders, as they meet iconic heroes of the movement for women’s right to vote and experience big moments in women’s suffrage first-hand.
It’s a great podcast for kids and adults to enjoy some history told in a fun manner. The web site even has lesson plans to go along with the podcast. Definitely check it out!
Click here for the episodes of this podcast to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment!