NPCA's Park Advocate » Features News and views of the National Parks Conservation Association Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:14:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Trivia Challenge: A Galaxy Not So Far Away After All Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:37:29 +0000 Q: Many of us head to a park when we’re looking to get away from it all, but did you know that two national parks in California literally portrayed a galaxy far, far away in one of the most famous movie series of all time? Can you name these two sites where director George Lucas filmed […]]]> 0 Exploring South Park, Colorado Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:26:15 +0000 This story is the last installment in NPCA’s series on national heritage areas, the large lived-in landscapes managed through innovative partnerships to tell America’s cultural history. See the rest of the stories in this series. The South Park National Heritage Area lies squarely in the center of Colorado and remains largely unchanged from the time prehistoric men and […]]]> 0 Plan a Desert Getaway to Arches National Park Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:15:43 +0000 The cooler months are an ideal time to explore the wonders of the desert, when visitors can see the beauty of the canyons and cacti without the intense sunshine and triple-digit temperatures. This story is the first in a new bimonthly Desert Getaway series with tips for visiting some of these warm, sunny southwestern national parks. With […]]]> 0 A Double Threat to an American Icon Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:45:29 +0000 Over the summer, many New York Times readers were shocked to learn about two development proposals that would permanently scar the enduring beauty of the Grand Canyon. The first proposal would create more than 2,000 housing units and 3 million square feet of shops and tourist attractions in Tusayan, a sleepy town just two miles from […]]]> 2 Wild American Beauty: 10 Wilderness Areas to Explore Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:46:49 +0000 Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act by exploring some of America’s wildest places, from remote windswept tundras to cactus-dotted mountains to serene rock-strewn beaches. Several spots are surprisingly close to major cities. Each month, NPCA puts together a slideshow exploring our National Park System. To get these features delivered to your inbox, sign up […]]]> 6 Trivia Challenge: Can You Name the Country’s Smallest National Park Site? Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:32:42 +0000 Q: Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is the country’s largest national park site, covering more than 8 million acres. Can you guess the smallest? This historic home in downtown Philadelphia honors a Polish freedom fighter who helped American colonists during the Revolutionary War. A: The National Park Service preserves epic tales of war […]]]> 3 The Elwha River, Undammed at Last Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:16:17 +0000 There’s plenty I could say about my recent rafting trip down the newly restored Elwha River, but sometimes a simple “Wooohoooo!” says it all. That was my natural reaction to more than a decade of work by NPCA and its partners to remove two antiquated dams from this spectacular northwestern river, restoring it to a […]]]> 3 National Public Lands Day—Saturday and Every Day Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:26:37 +0000 National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is around the corner: Saturday, September 27, 2014. Have you found an NPLD event near you to participate in? Last year, 139 national park sites held NPLD events, joining more than 2,200 sites across the country to celebrate the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. More than 175,000 […]]]> 12 New Video Showcases Youth Who Love Gateway Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:51:15 +0000 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an intern at Gateway National Recreational Area? This urban oasis covers more than 26,000 acres of beachfront, salt marshes, grasslands, forest, and wildlife habitat—much of it just outside New York City. Having so much green space so close to one of the largest cities […]]]> 0 Thousands of Schoolchildren Create Living Flag at Fort McHenry Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:24:44 +0000 Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, is probably best known for its famous flag, which billowed over the star-shaped ramparts after a fierce British attack during the War of 1812 and inspired Sir Francis Scott Key to write the Star-Spangled Banner. Earlier this week, nearly 7,000 schoolchildren and volunteers commemorated the 200-year […]]]> 0