Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth National Independence Day!

Today celebrates the date of June 19, 1865, when enslaved people of African descent located in Galveston, Texas, finally learned of their freedom from the slavery system in the United States.

While the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom and was signed on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. Texas was the farthest of the Confederate states, and slaveholders there made no attempt to free the enslaved African Americans they held in bondage. President Lincoln’s proclamation was unenforceable without military intervention, which eventually came nearly two and a half years later.

Juneteenth is an important date on the timeline of slavery history in the United States and now a federal holiday just signed into law last year.

Take a moment today and reflect on the importance of this holiday.

“Sheer brilliance….An empowering, transformative read. Bravo.”—Jewell Parker Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Boys

Flag Day

Happy Flag Day! This holiday commemorates the date in 1777 when the United States approved the design for its first national flag.

Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park

Did you know that the designer of our current flag was a 17-year-old Boy Scout named Robert Heft? What grade do you think he received for this look? A grade of B-minus. His Ohio teacher said the design was unoriginal, but offered to raise it to an A if the design was accepted nationally. So, the boy wrote to his congressman and the rest is history. And yes, he ended up with an A.

Happy Flag Day! 🇺🇸

Crater Lake National Park

Happy 120th anniversary to Crater Lake National Park located in Oregon!

About 7,700 years ago, Mount Mazama erupted creating the deepest lake in the United States and the 9th deepest in the world.  With a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the  one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. The water’s intense blue color is an indication of its great depth and purity. Surrounded by cliffs, the lake is fed entirely by rain and snow. Scientists consider Crater Lake to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.

Enjoy a few photos from our last visit there in 2020. As you will see, it was a bit hazy from fires in the area. But, even with the smoke and haze, it’s still a great national park!

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking out this national park as it is one of my favorites!

National Park Week Thanks

As National Park Week wrapped up yesterday, I thought a lot about our national parks this past week. I thought about all the memories of our visits there.

Yellowstone National Park, 2019

I also thought about the sPark discovery, creativity, collaborations, innovations, opportunities, preservations, actions, curiosity, and memories. I love the sPark!

I smiled a lot during all these thoughts and memories. National parks bring us great joy in addition to many other benefits. National Park Week provided us with a daily reminder of all the goodness within this great and unique system.

Thank you for coming along with me on this year’s National Park Week.

sPark Memories

Happy National Park Week!

To end this fun week, today’s theme focuses on memories. National parks provide families and friends with so many wonderful and lasting memories.

Enjoy two photos from my own amazing memories from the same area in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming 15 years apart.

2004
2019

What’s your favorite memory from one of the national parks?

Time to start planning the next national park trip to create more memories!

sPark Curiosity

Today’s National Park Week theme focuses on curiosity.

I can’t think of a better place to go and be curious than our national parks! They all offer so much to learn, explore, and just be a part of.

Merriam-Webster defines curious as “marked by desire to investigate and learn”.

To celebrate today, take a look in person or online at a national park and investigate and learn something new. There’s so much to explore and learn out there!

Are you curious about Crater Lake National Park? Here are some fun facts about it:

Crater Lake National Park, 2016

Happy National Park Week!

sPark Action

Happy Earth Day! Today’s theme during National Park Week looks at taking action which fits perfect with Earth Day.

Click this link here for some ideas to incorporate conservation at your home. Anyone can help. And every little bit adds up and makes a difference.

Happy Earth Day!

sPark Preservation

Today’s theme for National Park Week centers around preservation. The National Park Service is a leader and partner in preservation of historic, cultural, natural and recreational resources nationally and internationally. It’s literally their mission.

Yellowstone National Park

If you’re interested in historic preservation programs or resources, click here to learn more.

Happy National Park Week!

sPark Innovation

Today’s theme for National Park Week focuses on innovation. The National Park Service works to create new technology to support conservation and preservation efforts while working to improve current conditions at the parks as well.

For example, did you know that parks like Petroglyph National Monument are going green with newer technology, such as electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels?

They have projects that range from multi-year waste reduction initiatives and all-electric bus fleets to the installation of water bottle refill stations, solar panels, LED lights, and more. These measures are helping parks think and plan long-term for a greener future, ensuring they are resilient and sustainable for the benefit of both parks and the people who love them.  

Propane recycling outside the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at Lassen Volcanic National Park
NPS Photo by Amanda Sweeney

To celebrate today, go online and watch a webcam at one of the national parks. See the technology first hand and check out somewhere new! Click here for your choice of parks to visit online.

Happy National Park Week!