Tag Archives: Earth Day

An Ode to Nature

With the passing of Earth Day, we’ve become introspective, and our appreciation for this beautiful world around us has flourished. We look around and marvel at Mother Nature, and especially so as trees bloom and spring wraps us in its warm embrace. So here’s to you, Earth. This post’s for you and all that you do for us on our good days (and even the bad).

Mother Nature.

Mother Nature, you crazy beautiful. [Image: http://hdwallpaperbackgrounds.net/]

Thank you for supplying us with your far-reaching and entrancing beauty.

Some days when life feels difficult or a day just seems to drag on, the best medicine tends to be a trip outdoors. With the sun warming our faces, the rain patting us on the back, or the breeze gently encouraging us along, it’s easy to find some kind of calming reassurance outside.

Thank you for introducing us to plenty of fun creatures to look upon (but not touch!).

Bear mother and cubs.

Peek-a-boo. [Image: http://www.shanemcdermottphotography.com/]

The wildlife around us is astounding—look up, look down, look left, look right, and you’re sure to see something wriggling about. On top of all the glorious animals we come across in our travels, we also get to see plenty of breathtaking wildflowers and trees. Living, breathing, and with tops pointed up toward the sun, it’s easy to admire the magnificent flora covering our world.

Thank you for making it so easy to explore your seemingly endless acres.

Whether it’s by hiking to new heights, swimming to dark depths, camping out under the stars, climbing a mountain on two wheels, or scaling a rocky surface, there’s so many ways to explore in the great outdoors. If you see something that intrigues you, there’s probably a unique way that you can become acquainted with it.

Man swimming near underwater bench.

There’s much to discover out there. [Image: http://www.agapevoyage.com/]

With so much around us to take in, it feels like there’s really no reason to not spend every free moment outside! If you’re interested in helping to preserve this beautiful world of ours, look into volunteering opportunities in a state or national park near you. Then make sure you bring our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps with you to enhance your outdoor experience.

National Park Week Celebration

As previously mentioned in one of our posts titled “The National Park Centennial,” the National Park Service turned 100 years old this week! And in order to commemorate this momentous event, the NPS launched a National Park Week starting from April 16–24.

So what does the National Park Week entail?

Free Park Entrance

hiking in mt. rainier

A hiker absorbing the impressive views of the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. [Image: www.nationalgeograpic.com/]

That’s right! National Park Week offers free admission through the week of April 16–24. The National Park Service typically offers a couple of free admission days throughout the calendar year, but this is the longest offering in celebration of the centennial. There are over 400 national parks, 127 of which normally charge an entrance fee. With this week not only is admission waived, commercial and transportation fees are also included in the package. Take note that reservation, camping tours, concessions, and other fees that may be collected by third parties are not included unless otherwise stated.

National Junior Ranger Day

junior ranger program

Junior Rangers proudly presenting their Junior Ranger patch and a Junior Ranger activity book. [Image: www.nps.gov/]

The National Junior Ranger Day will be held on April 16 for children, usually between the ages of 5–13 (though people of all ages are welcome to join). What’s the NPS Junior Ranger program, you ask? The Junior Ranger motto, “Explore, Learn, and Protect!” engages children all around the country to take an oath in protecting, learning, and sharing their knowledge and experience about parks and as acting rangers. Youth participants will have a chance to make lasting friendship with other youth rangers and obtain knowledge and interest, if not passion, for national parks. Upon completion of the program, youth rangers will receive an official Junior Ranger patch and certificate.

Earth Day and National Park Instameet

yosemite instameet

A great photo of exploring Yosemite in the winter by @m.gracecortez. [Image: https://www.instagram.com/m.gracecortez/]

Earth Day on April 22 and National Park Instameet on April 23 are two activities that would be great to combine together. After getting involved in activities for preservation and protection of national parks that would let you be in touch with nature, join the #Instameet event on the 23 to meet fellow national park enthusiast. Share your own personal snapshots on Instagram and other social media platforms via photos and videos using the hashtags #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, and #NPS100.

Park Rx Day

park rx

A group of friends hiking across the marshes of Auyuittuq National Park. [Image: www.flickr.com/ © Peter Morgan]

April 24, 2016 will be the first ever annual National Park Rx Day! The goal of Park Rx is to promote green spaces and public health in the park. It aims to not only increase the relevance of parks but to also improve people’s moods, increase physical activity, and combat obesity. This is a great way to get in touch with nature and also improve one’s physical and mental health.

National Park Week offers great experiences exploring the various national parks in the country. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in a community of enthusiasts eager to learn and share their knowledge about national parks and various endeavors by not only preserving these beauties but also to reducing their own stress in the process.

Want to get involved? Head on over to www.nps.gov for more information! And don’t forget to download the Pocket Ranger National Parks app available in the Apple Store and Google Play to have the information right within your fingertips. Have fun!

Celebrate Earth Day at the State Parks!

Earth Day 2015 leaves poster [Image: kvbb945.com/tag/earth-day-2015 ]

Image: kvbb945.com/tag/earth-day-2015

Celebrate Earth Day at state parks across the country and join thousands of people who are getting outdoors and making a difference on April 22nd! First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is a perfect opportunity to learn more about environmental issues and how you can help. Here are a few ways you can participate this Earth Day:

Take a Hike!

Hikers on a trail in Wisconsin [Image: www.travelwisconsin.com]

Image: www.travelwisconsin.com

Unearth your hiking boots, thick socks, and walking stick and hit the trails on Earth Day! Cumberland State Park in Tennessee is hosting a 3-mile, Earth Day hike on the Pioneer Trail along upper Byrd Creek. See fascinating geological features, smell the wildflowers, cross a swinging bridge, and pass through the trail’s “fat man’s squeeze.” The Earth Day hike in Pomme de Terre State Park, Missouri will strike out on the Cedar Bluff Trail in the Hermitage area of the park. During the hike, park rangers will help you identify local wildlife and wildflowers. All of Washington’s state parks are free admission for Earth Day. Take advantage of this special opportunity by joining other outdoor enthusiasts on the Wildflower Walk at Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center. This 3/4-mile walk along a wetland trail is a great way to learn more about native wildflower species.

If you’d rather celebrate on the water, head to Crooked River State Park in Georgia for an Earth Day River Paddle at High Tide. Paddle your way through a maze of marsh grass before the course opens into gorgeous scenic views of the park.


Volunteers help with trail maintenance [Image: news.outdoors.org/2013/07/enjoy-outdoors-learn-new-skills-give.html]

Image: news.outdoors.org/2013/07/enjoy-outdoors-learn-new-skills-give.html

After a long, hard winter, there’s so much to do at the state parks to get them ready for the summer season. How can you help? It’s easy! Just give back to your favorite outdoor space by volunteering your time on Earth Day!

Wisconsin state parks are holding a series of volunteer days with their month-long Work*Play*Earth Day events. On any of these designated days, lend a hand at the parks by helping with repairs, trailwork, gardening, and painting. Refreshments and gifts of appreciation will be provided by Friends of Wisconsin State Parks. Of course, these volunteer days are also about fun! Once you’ve completed a volunteer project, join the park staff on a hike, bike ride or by touring a nature center.

Black Moshannon State Park in Pennsylvania also has Earth Day projects for volunteers. These projects include trail maintenance, litter pickup, leaf removal, and native plant gardening. As an added incentive, Earth Day volunteers can camp for free at the state park’s campground!

The Earth Day Hike & Volunteer Project at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in Tennessee is the best of both worlds. Help park staff complete small projects before taking a leisurely hike through the park’s beautiful meadow trails.

Bring the Kids!

Participants at Earth Day Celebration at Liberty State Park, NJ [Image: photos.nj.com/jersey-journal/2012/04/hudson_county_earth_day_at_lib_6.html]

View the NYC skyline while celebrating Earth Day at Liberty State Park! [Image: photos.nj.com/jersey-journal/2012/04/hudson_county_earth_day_at_lib_6.html]

There are plenty of family-friendly Earth Day events happening at parks across the country. At Liberty State Park in New Jersey, the annual Earth Day Celebration will have free arts & crafts activities and giveaways for kids. There will be kite-flying, live music and entertainers, and also fun inflatable rides. At the celebration’s 5K Run and 5K Walk, participants will receive a free t-shirt and also have the chance to win trophies and medals. While you’re at the park, don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the picturesque view of the New York City skyline!

There will be a full day of family fun at the Earth Day Celebration at Bear Mountain State Park in New York. Student Conservation Association’s Hudson Valley Corps and Trailside Museums and Zoo have a stellar line-up of activities aimed at fostering environmental awareness. These activities will be happening at stations along the trails, rain or shine.

Let your friends, family or the whole world know about your Earth Day adventures and achievements by sharing your waypoints on any of our free Pocket Ranger® apps! With just the click of a button, easily share your marked waypoints with others through Facebook, Twitter and email. 

Fun Earth Day Events at State Parks

Stout Memorial Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwood...

Stout Memorial Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near Crescent City in northern California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s almost that time of year againEarth Day! Today we’ll be sharing our annual list of Earth Day events at state parks. Before you start digging holes in the soil in an attempt to plant a tree, a shrub, or any type of greenery, we’d like to give you a mini history lesson so you can truly appreciate this day (and our planet, of course).

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. After an alarming oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson became extremely concerned about the future of our planet. He attempted to pass several reforms after that event to raise awareness about the importance of keeping the earth both healthy and clean. One of the reforms was to create a national Earth Day.

Over 20 million people across the nation celebrated the first Earth Day. The event was so big that there was even an unofficial Earth Day flag! Following the first Earth Day, several acts were passed by Congress to protect our drinking water, wild lands, and wildlife from people and companies. Talk about a success!

More than 40 years later, the tradition carries on— and not just in the United States. On this global holiday, we can all pitch in and make our world a better and cleaner place to live.

And now without further delay, check out some fun, educational state park plans for Earth Day.

Happy Earth Day, Big Blue Marble!

Happy Earth Day, Big Blue Marble! (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage)

Georgia: Earth Day at Floyd State Park

Saturday, April 19th. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

What better way to spend the day hiking and observing wildlife? There will be an Easter egg hunt and a campfire later in the evening. For more information on this exciting event, call (706) 857-0826.

Tennessee: Panther Creek State Park

Tennessee State Park with bridge by water

Image: tnstateparks.itinio.com

Saturday. April 19th. 12:00 p.m.

Panther Creek will be hosting Earth Day this year. State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and many other rangers will be there helping you with planting. This event is for those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Call (423) 587-7046.

North Carolina: Carolina Beach State Park

Tuesday, April 22nd. 2:00 p.m.

Come and learn about plants and animals that are found at this park. Make this Earth Day a special one with family and friends. Call (910) 458-8206.

New Jersey: Liberty State Park

English: The tall buildings of Jersey City, NJ...

The tall buildings of Jersey City, NJ are easily seen from Liberty State Park, NJ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saturday, April 26th,11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This daylong event provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the environment and create wonderful memories with the family. Arrive early to register for the Race/Walk. Race registrants will receive gifts!

Virginia: Beer Creek Lake State Park


Globe on Leaf Earth Day Post

Image: www.justforests.org

Saturday, April 26th. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Thinking about donating non-perishable food items for the less fortunate? This is the place to be! A donation of four or more items will get you a coupon for a free 30-minute boat rental, with your choice of canoe! Click here for details.

New York: Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve

Saturday, April 26th. 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Come out and celebrate Earth Day at this festival. There will be many activities for all. Visit New York State Parks.


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