National Park Week & National Volunteer Week 2011
National Park Week is an annual Presidentially proclaimed week for celebration and recognition of your National Parks. National Park Week usually coincides with Earth Day (April 22). For 2011, National Park Week was observed from Saturday, April 16 through Sunday, April 24.
Your National Parks are living examples of the best this nation has to offer—our magnificent natural landscapes and our varied yet interrelated heritage. Parks can provide recreational experiences, opportunities to learn and grow, and places of quiet refuge.
This year, take a moment, an hour, a day to visit the national parks near you.
Below is a listing of events that were held at Point Reyes National Seashore during or in conjunction with Earth Day, National Park Week, and National Volunteer Week.
On Friday, April 22, 2011, the public was invited to a free lecture entitled "Tracking Climate Change from Antarctica to Point Reyes." Jason Flesher, Point Reyes National Seashore Association's Field Seminars director, shared stunning photos and stories from his trip guiding a climate change expedition to Antarctica during the month of March with the group 2041. Dr. Ben Becker, marine ecologist at Point Reyes National Seashore, shared how climate change is impacting Point Reyes and the innovative programs the NPS is implementing to protect our park. Visitors were invited to come learn about how climate change is affecting the ecosystems of Antarctica and Point Reyes. The event was held at the Red Barn Classroom at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, April 23, 2011, many community organizations around West Marin county invited their members and the public to join one (or more) of several activities to commemorate Earth Day and to build greater community resilience. The series of events began with a welcome/introduction-to-events-offered ceremony at 10:00 a.m. at the Bear Valley Picnic Area. Afterwards, visitors were able to join in a variety of work parties and/or programs throughout Point Reyes National Seashore and West Marin (see below for details). And then after the work parties, work party participants were invited to a Community Celebration at Toby's Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station at 5 p.m.
Within the park, the public was invited to join in the following events.
Afterwards, work party participants were invited to reconvene at Toby's Feedbarn in Point Reyes Station starting at 5:00 p.m. where community members celebrated our local resilience and the accomplishments of the day. Speakers included Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey. Tim Weed and his band performed.
If visitors weren't able to make it to the park until Sunday, April 24, they were able to join the Habitat Restoration Program's workday. Volunteers help protect and restore endangered plant and wildlife habitat at Abbott's Lagoon, the Lighthouse Bluffs and other high value habitat areas at Point Reyes National Seashore. They get to visit some of the most beautiful areas in the park and help eradicate invasive plant species encroaching upon rare, native habitat. They also learn about invasive plant ecology and the flora and fauna of Point Reyes National Seashore. HRP, the "Sunday Team," meets in front of the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m. on the second and last Sunday of each month. Drop-ins are welcome. Bring lunch, water, sturdy shoes, sunscreen/hat, and other seasonally appropriate clothing. Gloves and tools are provided. Contact Ellen Hamingson at 415-464-5196 or by email for more information.
* Science On a Sphere (SOS)® is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed SOS® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.
You may also wish to attend one of the many Point Reyes Field Seminars during National Park Week. These are offered throughout the year by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and advanced registration is required. Visit their Month-by-Month Calendar of Classes to find out which classes will be offered during National Park Week.
For a listing of events to be held throughout the National Park Service, visit the official National Park Week page.
Did You Know?
In addition to raising sea levels and temperatures, the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is changing ocean chemistry by reducing the pH of the ocean. This decreased pH reduces the availability of minerals which marine organisms use to build shells and reef structures. More...