Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Shenandoah National Park (VA) Husband, Wife Seriously Injured In Separate Accidents
On Friday, September 27th, rangers responded to two separate medicals involving a married couple at the Big Meadows Campground, both requiring air evacuation.
The original call was for the wife, who’d broken her femur in a fall while getting out of their car at a Big Meadows campsite, but the first ranger on scene reported that her husband had also suffered an injury. He’d reported his wife’s injury to the campground staff, but fell from his bicycle while returning to the campsite and sustained significant facial trauma accompanied with memory loss.
The Stanley Volunteer Rescue Squad transported one of the victims and rangers transported the other in the park ambulance to the landing zone. Both were flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center.
[Submitted by Mike Michener, Deputy Chief Ranger]
NEWS AND NOTES
Gettysburg National Military Park (PA) Sesquicentennial Of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Held
On Tuesday, November 19th, Gettysburg National Military Park marked the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, an event which was highlighted by Abraham Lincoln delivering his immortal Gettysburg Address.
Thousands of people attended the 90-minute ceremony, including Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Director Jarvis and Northeast Regional Director Dennis Reidenbach.
Secretary Jewell shared keynote honors with Pulitzer Prize winning historian James McPherson. In her 272-word remarks, mirroring the length of Lincoln’s address, she reminded the crowd that our nation’s 16th president, “not only saved the American union but also came to symbolize its greatest virtues of humility, honesty and decency,” and that 150 years later, his words spoken at Gettysburg “call us to unfinished work…to continue to perfect our nation and a government that is truly ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.”
Gettysburg NMP Law Enforcement Ranger Morgan Brooks read a reflection on the Gettysburg Address prepared by President Barack Obama for the ceremony.
The event also included music by the United States Marine Band, which attended the dedication of the cemetery in 1863. As part of the Dedication Day ceremonies, 16 new United States citizens were given the oath of citizenship by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Lincoln portrayer James Getty recited the Gettysburg Address.
The NPS social media team under the direction of Jason Martz covered the event. Check out their photos on Gettysburg NMP’s Facebook page.
Commemorative events continue in Gettysburg on November 23rd with the Remembrance Day Parade and the 11th Annual Luminaria in the Soldiers` National Cemetery.
[Submitted by Katie Lawhon, Management Assistant]
Aztec Ruins National Monument (NM) Tracy Bodnar To Retire On November 30th
Tracy Bodnar, the park’s chief of resources and visitor services, will be retiring on November 30th.
Nearly every division at Aztec Ruins National Monument has attempted to sign Tracy up as a volunteer in the weeks before her retirement, which speaks to her unparalleled knowledge of park operations. During her 32 years with the National Park Service, Tracy has worked in interpretation, protection, management, curation, and natural resources in 13 different parks.
Tracy met her husband Russ as a seasonal at Mesa Verde National Park, and their wedding ceremony was held in Spruce Tree House. Together they wrote one of the NPS’s first site bulletins about cultural resource protection at Canyon de Chelly.
Tracy made the most of unique opportunities during her career. She attended Ranger Skills in 1991 as a new permanent at Carlsbad Caverns. In 1996 she participated in a “Getting to Know Mexico” program put on by the Office of International Affairs; it sent her to Chihuahua, Mexico, to learn about their cultural resource management strategies. She continued the relationship with Mexico by helping to plan cultural exchanges for indigenous Maya and Laguna youth at Chaco in 2010 and 2011.
Tracy is a traditional, do-it-all ranger, but she has also been a consistent advocate for changes to move the agency forward. She worked with affiliated Native American tribes on repatriation, which she describes as one of the most difficult and rewarding efforts of her career. More recently, she has supported new projects to engage younger audiences, such as an active park Facebook page and an online Junior Ranger program.
Tracy spent half her career at Aztec Ruins in two different positions. As the visitor center supervisor, she directed interpretive programs, authored the park website, managed the budget, and directed the volunteer program.
She became the chief of resources and visitor services three years ago and crammed a staggering number of accomplishments into that time. Under Tracy’s direction the park has plans for new museum exhibits to replace the 50-year-old ones it currently has. The park has its own orientation video for the first time, the self-guided trail booklet has been rewritten, and the long-range interpretive plan has been completed thanks to her work.
“I’m trying to be happy for her, but we’re certainly going to feel her absence,” says Superintendent Larry Turk.
Tracy and Russ live in Aztec, New Mexico, just a few miles from the park. She has promised to volunteer when they aren’t off camping somewhere. They leave for Mexico the day after Tracy’s retirement, and other plans include eventual trips to Europe, Peru, and the Four Corners parks. A retirement party will be held on Wednesday, November 20th, at the Aztec Microtel.
[Submitted by Lauren Blacik, Park Ranger]
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site (CO) Park Sponsors Monarch Butterfly Tagging Events
Bent’s Old Fort NHS is partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the STEM program at nearby Otero Junior College to provide monarch butterfly tagging events to school groups and the public.
All ages enjoy these fun outdoor events.
“Our one mile hiking trail around the wetland provides a great location to net and tag monarchs, but if the monarchs are not flying, folks also enjoy observing other species of butterflies such as queens, buckeyes and blues,” says Alexa Roberts, the park’s superintendent. “Fall comes and goes very quickly in southern Colorado and luckily the peak of monarch migration through the park coincides to provide perfect weather for outdoor activities.”
This is the fifth year that monarchs have been tagged in the park as they migrate south to overwinter on peaks in the mountains of southern Mexico.
The Monarch Watch project (MonarchWatch.com) is a continent-wide effort headed by the University of Kansas. The project is helping scientists to determine monarch migration patterns, survivorship, and population trends.
[Submitted by Fran Pannebaker, Natural Resource Specialist] More Information...
Mississippi National River & Recreation Area (MN) Park Receives 2013 Commuter Choice Award
On November 6th, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area was recognized as the government entity of the year at the 2013 Commuter Choice Award ceremony in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The award was in recognition of the effort the park championed to develop a seamless, multi-modal, alternative transportation system that gets thousands of visitors and area residents to the river without a car. The park was one of several employers, individuals and organizations that were recognized for actively adopting and promoting innovative commuting strategies throughout the Twin Cities.
“The project provides sustainable access to the Mississippi River, increases the park’s efforts to reduce congestion and emissions, improves health, safety and economic vitality, and connects diverse neighborhoods to the river’s parks, trails and green spaces while creating awareness of our urban national park and its outdoor experiences.”, said project manager Susan Overson.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in Minneapolis that included a congratulatory video address by U.S Senator Amy Klobuchar, an introduction by Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins, and remarks by KARE 11 meteorologist Sven Sundgaard. A panel of Twin Cities’ transportation experts evaluated nominations in selecting the winners.
“This project is a terrific example of how the park is fulfilling Director Jarvis’ Call to Action and America’s Great Outdoors initiatives”, said Superintendent Paul Labovitz. “We are proud to be able to advance the mission of the National Park Service in such a profound way by connecting urban communities and diverse populations to the parks, trails, and community green spaces along the Mississippi River. “
The project advances the America’s Great Outdoors goals to:
- Enhance recreational access and opportunities to connect multimodal facilities to the Mississippi River (Goal 2).
- Raise awareness of the value and benefits of America’s Great Outdoors by increasing access to, and expanding opportunities for healthy, outdoor recreation (Goal 3).
- Engage young people in conservation and the great outdoors. Providing alternative transportation opportunities from home, to school, and to active recreation will help children stay fit and experience the great outdoors (Goal 4).
- Work with state, local, and tribal governments to connect federal parks and other units in urban areas with the public transportation system and pedestrian and bike paths. (Goal 6).
- Empower communities to connect with America’s great outdoors through their rivers and other waterways and by increasing water-based recreation (Goal 9).
“The park’s long-term goal is to develop a seamless, park-wide, alternative transportation system that enables park visitors to commute via bike or transit, have a combination bike/paddle experience, or just enjoy access to the river without the use of a car,” said Overson.
To assist with this effort the park, with assistance from USDOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, is offering a “River Trip Planner” to help visitors and area residents get to river destinations without a car. The Google-based planner was launched on November 18th, the park’s 25th anniversary,
The park’s alternative transportation project was funded, in part, through $40.8 million awarded in 2012 to federal agencies through the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks (TRIP) program.
For more information on the park’s alternative transportation project, go to http://www.nps.gov/miss/parkmgmt/atp.htm
For more information on the park’s River Trip Planner, go to www.rivertripplaner.org
[Submitted by Susan Overson ]
National Capital Region GS-1035-11/12 Public Affairs Specialist
National Capital Regional Office has issued an announcement for a public affairs specialist. It is open to current federal employees or those eligible under special hiring authorities in the DC commuting area.
Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.
It closes on December 2nd.