CLICK HERE to read Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns’ list of ten new jewels on their must-see list of national parks, and their perspectives on sustaining the accomplishments of the Antiquities Act. The list includes several sites important to American history. Among them, the state of Delaware gets its first National Monument, meaning that all 50 states now have a unit within the National Park System.
The National Parks Promotion Council expresses its thanks to the many destinations and businesses that have helped sponsor increased visibility for the national parks and America’s public and trial lands, waters and shores at International Pow Wow 2013.
Included among Gold Level sponsors are:
- Forever Resorts
- Delaware North Companies
- Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel
- JetBlue Airways
- Xanterra Parks and Resorts
Silver Level sponsors include:
- Charleston Area CVB
- Valley Forge CVB
And Bronze Level sponsors include:
- ARAMARK Parks and Destinations
- Durango Area Tourism
- Greater Boston CVB
- Guest Services Inc.
- Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
- National Parks of Hawai’i Island
- and Texas Tourism
Chimani’s new Viewport tool – an augmented reality viewer – available as a $1.99 in-app purchase – allows users to pan around scenic outlooks and identify points of interest that are often left undiscovered. Because cell phone signals are poor and non-existent in most national parks, Chimani apps are designed to function without any type of data connection. This also applies to the new Chimani augmented reality viewer.
New to Chimani are topographic maps based on data from Openstreetmaps.org, which allows Chimani to produce rich topographic maps that are updated monthly with the most recent data available. Chimani users are also able to actively contribute to the national park community and help build better geo-spatial data for each of the parks. Kerry Gallivan, co-founder of Chimani said, “An example of this is Openstreetmaps.org’s user “Tomthepom” who spent winter meticulously editing park data within Grand Canyon making the data found within the Chimani maps the most detailed and up-to-date available anywhere - digital or print.” Kerry added that “Many visitors don’t realize how often trail data changes, so having access to the latest details helps enhance the park experience.”
For the Android versions of the apps, Chimani has introduced a beta feature of a social-sharing tool that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to connect with other Chimani users and share contact information. “We modeled this after the tradition on the Appalachian Trail of hikers exchanging something with people they meet along the trail,” said Gallivan. By touching two Android phones together, the users profile is exchanged using NFC. No cell phone signal is required and when the exchange occurs within a particular park, a unique badge is unlocked between users as a bonus.
Chimani now offers a suite apps from 14 of the most visited national parks in the United States, including: Acadia National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Olympic National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park and its National Parks app - which is a virtual passport tool for all National Park Service units.
Each of the national park apps deliver constantly updated content, ranger-led event schedules, auto touring points of interest, hiking details, restroom locations, free shuttle bus schedules, and breaking news alerts. Users can also view sunset and sunrise times for the most memorable scenic overlooks, access tide schedules along the coast, review lodging options, and more.
The Chimani apps are available for iPhone, iPad, Amazon Kindle and Android devices. They can be downloaded directly fromApple’s iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon AppStore (keyword: “chimani”). Founded in 2010, Chimani apps have totaled over 450,000 downloads and rank #1 in each of the major app marketplaces for individual parks. For more information visit http://www.chimani.com or view the app demo filmed in the Grand Canyon National Park: https://vimeo.com/58183356
Zach Brunner, age 7, gave up getting birthday gifts the past two years so that the money that would be spent on them would go instead to help Lassen Volcanic National Park.
For that inspiring act of unselfish philanthropy the Los Altos, Calif. youth has been appointed to the board of directors of the Lassen Park Foundation (LPF). Chairman John Koeberer said the LPF board was touched by Zach’s generosity, but also his “passion for Lassen.”
Koeberer described the appointment as real, with the seven-year-old to be listed on the LPF board, with an open invitation “to attend any board meeting or foundation function that he wishes. We are particularly interested in hearing his thoughts on things we can do to make the park experience better for kids, to better reach at-risk children with our summer youth camping program, and how what we do to help Lassen Volcanic can be improved,” said Koeberer.
With this year’s donation, Brunner wrote, “Dear Lassen Park Rangers, At my birthday party, I raised $255 for the park. I hope you can use it to finish the trail to the top of the volcano. I hope I can visit Lassen, Manzanita Lake and Crags Lake this summer!”
Lassen Volcanic National Park Superintendent Darlene Koontz said, “It is extremely heartwarming to see a child so moved by the national park that he would give up his birthday presents to help with its preservation. It was an extraordinary act, by an extraordinary boy.” Koontz continued, “Lassen Volcanic is in the process of converting its Crags Campground for use by youth groups. We’ll be asking Director Brunner to tell us what he thinks of our plans. I look forward to hearing his wise counsel.”
Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in northeast California, approximately 40 miles east of Redding. Founded in 1916, Lassen Volcanic contains all four of the world’s types of volcanoes, including active Lassen Peak and many geothermal sites. The Lassen Park Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization that supports Lassen Volcanic National Park. More about them is found at www.nps.gov/lavo and www.lassenparkfoundation.org.
Click the following link to see Blair Underwood’s uproarious take on the plight of the black hiker in the outdoors.
Over Thanksgiving dinner, a public television travelog producer was discussing with family members where they planned to take their next vacation. His sister, who has taken her family to many resort destinations in the past, said she was considering a Disney Cruise. He asked if she’d ever taken the kids to a national park. She hadn’t and wasn’t considering visiting the parks. He was surprised and disappointed, and related the following.
His sister didn’t consider national parks as places her family would vacation, based on these factors:
1) Children greatly influence where the family vacations, today. They see advertising on national television programs that depict certain family vacations as filled with enticiing and fun activities for children and the entire family, but they never see commercials about the national parks. So, when parents ask kids where they would you like to go on vacation… the kids respond with places familiar to them or those they’ve seen on TV.
2) Working moms and dads want to relax on vacation. It’s their time to kick back and they’re not sure they can do that on a national park vacation.
3) National parks are a total unknown to today’s parents. Many have never visited the parks or have faint memories of them from visiting in their youth. They don’t know what they’d do on vacation in a national park, where they’re located, how to get there or why they should go. When they are considering where to vacation, they only think of places they can imagine themselves visiting and enjoying.
As my friend in public television cautioned, ocean conservationist Jacques Cousteau said, “People will only preserve that they love.” If today’s Americans have little interest or experience in visiting national parks today, will they fight to preserve them in the future?
The National Park Service and National Park Foundation, with the assistance of GREY are developing a million dollar promotional campaign. It begins with market research to better understand domestic visitation and opportunities to expand it. A $500,000 social media campaign follows, but far more promotion is needed to change family travel patterns. AdAge reports Disney spends “$124 million on measured media for its parks and resorts businesses.” That’s what the national parks are up against for share of voice.
Innovative means of funding a competitive advertising effort must be considered, or we risk failing to connect this millennium’s generation to the parks.
A creative videographer gets to the heart of the relevance of national parks to American youth in this video.