NPT News - November 2012

November 2012 ISSUE

ZION NATIONAL PARK
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NPT News
Our mission: Preserving parks today; Creating park stewards for tomorrow.
In this month's issue:

NPT and Wilderness Inquiry Bring Hundreds of Students on Anacostia River

Through a partnership with Wilderness Inquiry, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Earth Conservation Corps (ECC), and the DC Department of Health, NPT took 350 Buddy Bison students from the DC area canoeing on the Anacostia River in October. Over the course of four days and eight half-day paddling adventures, students from the city’s Buddy Bison schools learned about the importance of protecting our nation’s waterways and water safety. Students from Brent Elementary School, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, Neval Thomas Elementary School, and Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School also learned about the wildlife living around the Anacostia River. The students saw beavers, turtles, herons, geese, and red-tailed hawks. A 3rd grade student from Neval Thomas summarized the kids' experiences, "This is the best day ever, I never want to leave!" This is a continuation of NPT and Wilderness Inquiry's partnership to connect students with the Anacostia River and the importance of urban waterways. NPT's education director, William Schrack commented, "It's a great experience to bring children out on the water for the first time. Their anxious, worried faces quickly turn to pure joy when they put their paddle in the water and you can tell they are hooked."

The Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures program, a collaboration of local organizations and state and federal agencies, supports America's Great Outdoors initiative by, "allowing students and residents to reconnect with the Anacostia River; to learn about this rich history; and possibly gain a new perspective of this natural treasure that runs through the community,” stated Peter Lonsway, NPS Chief of Interpretation for Greenbelt Park, National Capital Parks-East.

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Mike Argentine and Laura Abram of First Solar

First Solar Partnership Creates Mojave Desert Experiences

Over 100 students from California and Nevada, ranging from grades K-8 visited Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park to learn about their unique desert ecosystems. First Solar sponsored Baker Elementary School, Sandy Valley Elementary School, and Eagle Mountain School as NPT's newest Buddy Bison schools. Their volunteers joined the students for their park adventures and helped the students participate in outdoor education programs that focused on geology, ecology, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

"We are excited to support the work that National Park Trust is doing to help create the next generation of park stewards and educate children on the importance of sustainability and solar energy," stated Laura Abram, First Solar director of sustainability and community affairs. Activities included scouring the Kelso Dunes at Mojave National Preserve for geological resources unique to the Preserve and at Joshua Tree National Park, climbing the massive granite formations at White Tank. With the continued support of First Solar, NPT's education team will be working with the students throughout the year.
 
From left: Grant Smith, Amy Silver, Elizabeth Ries,
Kit McGinnis,Peter Fricke, and Elizabeth Wheeler
 
Washington Family Property Protected Forever

The property surrounding the Claymont Mansion in West Virginia has been placed in a conservation easement, culminating many years of efforts by NPT to restore and protect this George Washington Family home and property. With the help of NPS' American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), the Jefferson County Farmland Protection Board and the Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle, 264 acres will remain undeveloped forever. Former NPT park projects director and Jefferson County resident, Kit McGinnis, stated, "National Park Trust realized the importance of protecting this property and stuck with the project over the years. It's great to finally see this Washington Family home and property preserved in perpetuity." Claymont's Washington Family was involved in the 1864 Battle of Summit Point, when Confederate forces attacked Union positions around Claymont at the beginning of General Sheridan’s Shenandoah campaign, making the property eligible for protection under the ABPP.

George Washington’s brother, John Augustine Washington, owned the Claymont property in the 1700s, and George Washington’s grand-nephew, Bushrod Corbin Washington, built the 34-room Claymont Mansion in 1811. NPT secured a Save America's Treasures grant to restore the mansion and worked to help complete the conservation easement placed on the property.
Disaster Relief Fund to Help Park Employees After Sandy

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Employees and Alumni Association of the National Park Service created a disaster relief fund to help National Park Service employees who were most affected by the storm. Approximately 40 park officials have been displaced and are now living in shelters while working to keep our parks open for thousands of visitors. Anyone who wishes to show appreciation for park employees can contribute directly to the relief fund. Donations are tax deductable and can then be made online or by check payable to: NPS E&AA Trust Fund for Disaster Relief, c/o Eastern National, 470 Maryland Drive, Suite 1, Fort Washington, PA 19034.
Order your 2013 National Park Trust Calendar Today!

While 2012 is coming to an end, there is still time to order your 2013 NPT calendar. In addition to tracking your personal events, you can also learn more about NPT’s exciting education and park preservation accomplishments in 2012. From protecting hundreds of scenic acres at Glacier National Park to teaching kids about geology at Mojave National Preserve, the 2013 calendar offers insight into NPT’s work to preserve parks today and create park stewards tomorrow. Order your calendar online or by phone at 301-279-7275. All proceeds benefit NPT's park preservation and youth education initiatives.
 
Learn More About Our Projects on Facebook and Twitter!

If you like our parks, then remember to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! While NPT News is a great way to learn about our projects each month, Facebook and Twitter offers immediate coverage and photos of our events. A Facebook photo is worth a thousand words, so learn more about our projects and show your appreciation for our parks by helping us reach 1,000 likes before the end of the year!

 

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