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#FindYourPark and Kick Off National Park Week With a Free Visit Saturday
If you are looking for something to do this Easter weekend, why not visit your nearest national park? All sites run by the National Park Service (NPS) will be free Saturday, April 20 as this year's National Park Week kicks off, USA Today reported.
National Park Week is a presidentially-mandated celebration of the nation's public lands that runs every April. This year, it falls between April 20 and 28. It is a joint effort of NPS and charity group the National Park Foundation, but anyone can get involved in a variety of ways, from donating to the parks to visiting and sharing photos and stories on social media.
"Every year, we invite you to join us and make a difference for the national parks and programs you love. Whether you give, share, join, or do all three, we're grateful that you are part of the parks community!" the National Park Foundation said on a webpage announcing the week.
Saturday, the first day of the week, is the only day on which the parks are free, but there are themed celebrations throughout the week.
Saturday, April 20, Junior Ranger Day
"We don't care what age you are," NPS says, and it's true. A 103-year-old great-great-grandmother was sworn in as a Junior Ranger at the Grand Canyon this January.
Sunday, April 21, Military and Veteran Recognition Day
Monday, April 22, Earth Day
Monday is Earth Day, so the parks are emphasizing their history as part of the conservation movement and their role as a place where Americans can come to connect with nature.
Tuesday, April 23, Transportation Tuesday
On Tuesday, NPS emphasizes how innovations in transportation technology, from trains to cars, have influenced how Americans access the parks. Now, transportation workers at NPS work to protect wildlife while enabling visitor access.
Wednesday, April 24, Wild Wednesday
This day celebrates the wildlife and wilderness preserved in the parks, urging visitors to camp, take hikes, observe plants and animals and do other outdoor activities.
Thursday, April 25, Throwback Thursday
NPS will celebrate Throwback Thursday by emphasizing the history preserved in the parks. Park lovers can participate online by posting side-by-side photos of past and present park visits under the hashtags #NationalParkWeek, #ThrowbackThursday, and #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque.
Friday, April 26, Friendship Friday
Friday focuses on all the ways visitors can become friends of the parks by volunteering or donating to a philanthropic organization that partners with the parks. Here is a directory of organizations if you want to get involved.
Saturday, April 27, BARK Ranger Day
Sunday, April 28, ParkRx Day
Outdoor activity is an important boost to mental and physical health, and some doctors have started to make this official by prescribing national park visits to patients. The last day of National Park Week celebrates this growing trend.
Throughout the week, there are opportunities to show your love for the national parks on social media. NPS is bringing back a park ranger emoji that will appear next to the hashtag #FindYourPark. You can also add a park-themed Facebook frame to your profile picture starting today. Just click on your image and choose "update," then "add frame," search for "National Park Service" and click save.
The first opportunity to get involved online starts today at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, as the NPS hosts a live-chat on Twitter.
This year's National Park Week comes after the parks had a difficult start to 2019. They were left open but understaffed during the government shutdown, causing "irreparable" damage to some parks.
- National Park Week: Every park will be free April 20 ›
- National Park Week - NPS Celebrates! (U.S. National Park Service) ›
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This is a victory more than a decade in the making. PETA and our international affiliates have crashed Prada's catwalks with anti-fur signs, held eye-catching demonstrations all around the world, and sent the company loads of information about the fur industry. In 2018, actor and animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson sent a letter on PETA's behalf urging Miuccia Prada to commit to leaving fur out of all future collections, and the iconic designer has finally listened.
If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.
"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.
"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›