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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.

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Mike Taube / Getty Images

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.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Countryside near Emigrant, Montana near where a Canadian company wanted to mine for gold. SoCalChris / CC BY-SA 3.0

A Canadian company cannot carry out exploratory drilling for gold mining on land just north of Yellowstone National Park, a Montana district court ruled Monday.

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David Bernhardt arrives before testifying during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson / Getty Images

The Senate voted to confirm former oil-and-gas lobbyist David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior Thursday, despite calls from Democrats and government watchdogs to investigate his past conduct, The New York Times reported.

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Lord Howe Island lagoon in New South Wales, Australia. Peter Unger / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

By Tess Moriarty, Bill Leggat, C. Mark Eakin, Rosie Steinberg, Scott Heron and Tracy Ainsworth

This month corals in Lord Howe Island Marine Park began showing signs of bleaching. The 145,000 hectare marine park contains the most southerly coral reef in the world, in one of the most isolated ecosystems on the planet.

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The headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

President Donald Trump released his budget for fiscal year 2020 on Monday, to a general outcry from environmental groups who say it underfunds key programs and agencies.

EcoWatch has already reported on its biggest ask — $8.6 billion in funding for a border wall that would threaten borderland wildlife and communities — but the budget has been equally criticized for what it would cut, including a 31 percent decrease in funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a nine to 14 percent decrease for the Department of the Interior (DOI).

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Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy / Stone / Getty Images

Having access to green spaces such as parks and forests as a child may be beneficial to your mental health later in life, new research out of Aarhus University in Denmark suggests.

According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America, Danish children who grew up with less greenery nearby from birth to age 10 were as much as 55 percent more at risk of developing a mental disorder later in life. Moreover, the researchers found that the risks actually decreased the longer children spent living close to nature — regardless of whether they lived in urban or rural areas.

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Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Jerome Gorin / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 363-62 to pass the Natural Resources Management Act Tuesday, which means the biggest public lands bill in more than a decade has now passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support.

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Visitors to the Grand Canyon may have been exposed to unsafe radiation levels, for almost two decades. George Rose / Getty Images

Grand Canyon visitors and employees who passed through the national park's museum collection building were exposed to radiation for nearly two decades, AZCentral reported Monday.

That's because, until last year, three five-gallon paint buckets filled with uranium ore were stored in the building, according to a Feb. 4 email sent out to all National Park Service employees by Grand Canyon safety, health and wellness manager Elston "Swede" Stephenson.

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The Grand Canyon celebrates its 100th birthday as a national park this month, but it just earned itself a protector who is even older!

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Pexels

Today, the U.S. celebrates Presidents Day, a day to commemorate the leadership and legacy of the so-far only men who have governed the country since its founding.

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