National Volunteer Week honors the individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities. For 2012, National Volunteer Week was observed from Sunday, April 15 through Saturday, April 21
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 2012, National Park Week was observed from Saturday, April 21 through Sunday, April 29.
Earth Day began when a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, called for an environmental teach-in in 1969, which was inspired by the teach-ins dealing with the Vietnam War. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and drew an estimated 20 million participants. Tens of thousands of people filled New York's Fifth Avenue, Congress adjourned so members could speak across the nation, and at least 2,000 colleges marked the occasion. American Heritage Magazine called the first Earth Day "one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy." Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 174 countries by over a half billion people, making it the most celebrated secular holiday in the world, a day on which people get outdoors, plant trees, clean up trash and lobby for the environment.
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.
As part of our National Volunteer Week, Earth Day, and National Park Week celebration, Point Reyes National Seashore hosted a variety of activities throughout the week prior to and on Earth Day to promote sustainability, to raise environmental awareness, and to discuss actions we can take to help reduce our environmental footprint. The week's activities included:
Earth Day Soy-based/Natural Beeswax Crayon Mural Date: Monday, April 16-Sunday, April 22 Time: 9 am-5 pm Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center Description: Stop by the Bear Valley Visitor Center and draw an Earth Day/sustainability-related or artistic message on our Earth Day mural. Contact: Dale Dualan, 415-464-5100 ext. 5942, email
Green Junior Ranger Pledge Activity Sheet Date: Monday, April 16-Sunday, April 22 Time: 9 am-5 pm Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center Description: For kids of all ages. Stop by and pick a junior ranger activity and fill out an Earth Day pledge on what you will do to help the environment. Contact: Anela Ramos, 415-464-5146, email
Third Thursday Weeders Volunteering Date: Thursday, April 19 Time: 9:30 am-1:30 pm Location: Point Reyes Lighthouse Description: Volunteer to remove non-native invasive iceplant with the Third Thursday Weeders. Meet at the Lighthouse parking lot. Contact: Ellen Hamingson, 415-464-5196, email
Brown Bag Lecture: Point Reyes National Seashore Sustainability Program Date: Friday, April 20 Time: 12 noon Location: Red Barn Classroom Description: Earth day is around the corner! Come hear all about Point Reyes National Seashore's sustainable operations, how we are getting the message out to visitors, and highlights on some future sustainable projects. Contact: Sara Hammond, 415-464-5165, email
Earth Day Marin Date & Time: Saturday, April 21. 11 am - 6 pm. Location: Marin Civic Center Lagoon Park Description: Earth Day Marin is a free, day-long event with exhibitors, food, celebrity chefs, fun for kids and great music.
Science on a Sphere Date: Saturday, April 21; Sunday, April 22; Saturday, April 28; & Sunday, April 29 Time: 11 am-12 noon Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center Auditorium Description: Join a National Park Service ranger in the Visitor Center's auditorium to get a perspective of planet Earth that once was available only to astronauts. Science on a Sphere® gives a view of the Earth and the forces that shape life on our planet. We use the Science on a Sphere® to illustrate various models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other scientists, such as atmospheric warming, ocean acidification, sea level rise, and other potential effects of climate change. Contact: Bear Valley Visitor Center, 415-464-5100 x2 x5, email
Journey of the Whales Date: Saturday, April 21 & Sunday, April 22 Time: 1:30 pm-2 pm Location: Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Description: Join a Ranger to learn about gray whales as they migrate past Point Reyes. Learn about their habits and adaptations, and hope for a whale sighting from the Observation Deck. Program lasts 30 minutes. This program is given out-of-doors. Come prepared for windy, cold and damp weather. Contact: Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center, 415-669-1534, email
On Shaky Ground Date: Saturday, April 21 & 28 Time: 2 pm-3 pm Location: Earthquake Trailhead at Bear Valley
Description: Dare to tread the San Andreas Fault where the earth's crust shifted and moved 5 meters (16 feet) in 1906! Meet a Park Ranger at the start of the Earthquake Trail for this easy 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) walk. Contact: Bear Valley Visitor Center, 415-464-5100 x2 x5, email
Illuminating the Point Reyes Light Date: Saturday, April 21 Time: 7:45 pm. Location: Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Description: Experience the Point Reyes Lighthouse at sunset as many keepers have over the years. Learn about the lives of the keepers and the operation of the light amidst darkened skies. Space is limited on this popular program. Call 415-669-1534 after 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 to reserve space for your group. Group size is limited to 8. The program will be cancelled if winds exceed 40 mph. Call back between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to confirm status of program.
Wear very warm clothes as the weather is often cold and windy.
Bring a flashlight for the 0.6 km (0.4 mile) walk back to your car after sunset.
Meet at the Lighthouse Visitor Center. Allow at least 1 hour to travel from the Bear Valley Visitor Center to the Lighthouse Visitor Center.
Access to the Lighthouse requires a strenuous descent and ascent of 308 steps.
Contact: Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center, 415-663-1534, email
Earth Day Beach Cleanup Date: Sunday, April 22 Time: 10 am-3 pm Location: Drakes Beach Description: Come help pick up litter at Drakes Beach. Please bring gloves and a bucket. Meet at the Ken Patrick Visitor Center. Contact: Sara Hammond, 415-464-5165, email
2012 Point Reyes Trails Challenge Information Table hosted by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association Date: Sunday April 22 Time: 10 am-3 pm Location: Outside in front of the Bear Valley Visitor Center Description: Register for and get information about the upcoming Trails Challenge program that will kick off on June 2012! Contact: Donna Faure, 415-663-1200 x303, email
Compost Demonstration Date: Sunday April 22 Time: 10 am-3 pm Location: Outside in front of the Bear Valley Visitor Center Description: Learn how to start your own home composting and vermicomposting system. Contact: Dale Dualan, 415-464-5100 x5942, email
A Reading of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Date: Sunday, April 22 Time: 10 am Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center Description: A classic children's story with an environmental message. Written by Dr. Seuss. Contact: Kim Hawkins, 415-464-5130
Cultural History Talk at Kule Loklo with Nick Tipon Date: Sunday, April 22 Time: 2 pm-3 pm Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center Description: Come hear a talk given by Coast Miwok descendant Nick Tipon, who will discuss the Native Miwok's relationship to the earth. Nick will lead visitors along a 1.3 kilometer (0.8 mile) walk to Kule Loklo, a replica Coast Miwok village. Contact: Anela Ramos, 415-464-5146, email
Kule Loklo Walk Date: Sunday, April 29 Time: 2 pm-3 pm Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center Description: Join a ranger for this 1 to 1.5 hour tour of Kule Loklo, a replica Coast Miwok village. This leisurely 1.3 kilometer (0.8 mile) tour introduces visitors to the Coast Miwok Culture. Contact: Bear Valley Visitor Center, 415-464-5100 x2 x5, email
So many California red-legged frogs were caught for consumption in the late 1800's that their numbers declined throughout California. So bullfrogs were imported from the east to help meet the demand. But bullfrogs are voracious predators and helped drive the red-legged frog population lower yet.