Quantcast

5 Ways to Celebrate National Parks Week

Health + Wellness
Denali national park. Domen Jakus / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Stephanie Gagnon

Happy National Parks Week! This year, between April 20 and 28, escape to the beautiful national parks — either in person or in your imagination — and celebrate the amazing wildlife that calls these spaces home.


Here are 5 ways to celebrate our national treasures:

1. Kick off the week with free entry to all national parks on Saturday, April 20. 

Grand Teton National Park.

David Keener

The National Park Service offers 5 free entry days each year, where fees to enter the park are waived. This is a great opportunity to visit your first national park and see what the buzz is about. Check out their Find Your Park website and make plans today!

2. Take photos of wildlife (from a distance).

Roseate spoonbills feed in Florida's shallow waters by swinging their heads from side to side and sifting muck with their flat bills.

Jenni Kerteston

The wildlife that call our national parks their home can be cute (like the American pika), majestic (like the Florida panther), or just plain weird-looking (like the roseate spoonbill). They're great subjects for amateur and professional nature photographers alike. Just remember tokeep your distance and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

3. When you’re there, look for butterflies.

A pipevine swallowtail butterfly in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Jenny Pansing

These beautiful creatures are particularly photogenic. Species like the monarch butterfly can be observed in National Parks all over the country, while other species may be localized to one region. Want to take it one step further? Be a butterfly hero!

4. Use digital tools to engage with the natural world.

A visit to the national parks is a great way to spend some time away from screens enjoying the benefits of fresh air and beautiful sights. But if your family has trouble unplugging, there are plenty of resources that can help you use your devices to better understand the world around you, including Google Earth! Movies, magazines, games, and apps offer a variety of options, too.

5. Can’t make it to the parks in person? Journey in your mind to these breathtaking destinations.

Denali National Park.

Stokes Clarke

Sometimes there's not enough time or money to get to the parks in person. We've compiled some incredible photos from entrants to our photo contest for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home.

The best way to celebrate our national parks is to take care of them.

From successfully advocating for the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to opposing mining plans next to Minnesota's Boundary Waters, the National Wildlife Federation is a leader in protecting our public lands for wildlife and future generations of Americans.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A vegan diet can improve your health, but experts say it's important to keep track of nutrients and protein. Getty Images

By Dan Gray

  • Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
  • A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
  • It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.

New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.

Read More Show Less
Students gathered at the National Mall in Washington DC, Sept. 20. NRDC

By Jeff Turrentine

Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
samael334 / iStock / Getty Images

By Ruairi Robertson, PhD

Berries are small, soft, round fruit of various colors — mainly blue, red, or purple.

Read More Show Less
A glacier is seen in the Kenai Mountains on Sept. 6, near Primrose, Alaska. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have been studying the glaciers in the area since 1966 and their studies show that the warming climate has resulted in sustained glacial mass loss as melting outpaced the accumulation of new snow and ice. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Mark Mancini

On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.

Read More Show Less
Members of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America table at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18. Alex Schwartz

By Alex Schwartz

Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
StephanieFrey / iStock / Getty Images

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Muffins are a popular, sweet treat.

Read More Show Less
Hackney primary school students went to the Town Hall on May 24 in London after school to protest about the climate emergency. Jenny Matthews / In Pictures / Getty Images

By Caroline Hickman

Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?

Read More Show Less
Myrtle warbler. Gillfoto / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Bird watching in the U.S. may be a lot harder than it once was, since bird populations are dropping off in droves, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less