Hey 4th graders, it’s time to get your free national park pass! You and your family get free access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year thanks to the Every Kid Outdoors Program.
National Park Trust is excited to introduce you to our 2019-2020 youth leadership team! We have expanded our existing Ambassador program to include two new roles: Buddy Bison Student Representatives and Buddy Bison Ambassador Alumni. These youth leaders not only love to discover parks and share their experiences with other kids, but they are also dedicated stewards of our public lands.
By: Anna Medema | July 31, 2019
Happy Shark Week!
Sharks are one of the world’s most famous predators, but how much do we actually know about them? Several coastal national park sites help provide insight into the lives of these marine animals.
One of the best parks to learn about sharks is Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. In particular, Cape Cod is known for its population of great white sharks, one of the sharks at the top of the food chain. As predators, they fill a very important role in marine ecosystems, and have direct impacts many species including seals and other fish. Seals make up the primary portion of their diet, and as the seal population of Cape Cod had increased in recent years, so has the great white shark population. Cape Cod has many tips for how to stay safe in and around the water, including always staying in groups and avoiding low-visibility water. For more information about shark safety at the park, click here.
However, not all sharks pose a threat to humans! In fact, only a small portion of the 470 species of sharks are aggressive or dangerous to us. Many more of them would rather keep to themselves, such as the nurse shark found at Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. Nurse sharks are carnivorous, but their lives do not center around hunting. They enjoy spending time swimming, resting, and socializing in groups. Studying nurse sharks has helped shed light on the importance of sharks in tropical ecosystems, both in the oceanic food webs and in coral reef ecology. To learn more about nurse sharks in Dry Tortugas, click here.
Although sharks are often made out to be scary predators, they have more to fear from us than we do from them. Fishing nets and shark fin markets pose a threat to these animals, as does climate change and the resulting changing ocean ecosystems. This Shark Week, we encourage you to check out one of these coastal national park sites to learn more about sharks and the crucial role they place in our ecosystems! Photo links here and here.
List of coastal national park sites where sharks may be present:
- Acadia National Park
- Assateague Island National Seashore
- Canaveral National Seashore
- Cape Cod National Seashore
- Cape Hatteras National Seashore
- Cape Lookout National Seashore
- Channel Islands National Park
- Dry Tortugas National Park
- Fire Island National Seashore
- Gulf Islands National Seashore
- Olympic National Seashore
- Padre Island National Seashore
- Point Reyes National Seashore
Link to general NPS site about sharks: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/oceans/sharks-and-rays.htm
America’s beloved national park sites are protected for all of us to enjoy because of people like you. We know you believe our treasured landscapes should be defended against destructive development.
The last privately owned acres inside Valles Caldera National Preserve is for sale. This is your chance to permanently protect this land and complete the park!
Valles Caldera is one of only five places in America featuring geothermal wonders, including sulfuric acid fumaroles, hot springs, natural gas seeps, and mudpots. And all of those features are on the last piece of private land located inside the park’s boundaries.
Situated in the caldera of a supervolcano, the Preserve protects:
- 40 miles of pristine trout streams
- 66,118 acres of conifer forests
- 17 endangered plant and animal species, and
- 25,000 acres of grassland grazed by New Mexico’s largest herd of elk.
Use of this enchanting landscape dates back to prehistoric times – Obsidian spear points dating to 11,000 years ago have been discovered in the area.
Your support will not only preserve the only geothermal features in the caldera, but also ensure that visitors will finally have a chance to explore them.
Protection of this parcel would also mean that the last unmanaged portion of the Sulfur Creek headwaters would be protected by the Park Service, ensuring oversight of water quality flowing downstream.
We need 100 park lovers to make a gift of $350, or any amount to complete VallesCaldera National Preserve – Will you be one of the 100?
With your gift, we can negotiate the transfer of this spectacular piece of Valles Calderato the National Park System right away.
The threat of a for-profit geothermal resort being built on the parcel is real, but I know with your help, we can save this place and ensure that park visitors can be can delighted and inspired by all that it has to offer.
Can we count on you to make a gift today?
Photo courtesy of Mathew Dillon.
Thanks to your support, this year, National Park Trust was able to provide funding for outdoor education experiences for nearly 20,000 children as well as complete projects to benefit the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Ebey’s Landing National Historic Preserve, and Zion National Park. Take a look at all that we have accomplished together!