“I’m thrilled to announce that my daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, and I are writing another children’s book, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD will show kids all our National Parks have to offer. Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD will be published in May 2016, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Park Foundation“, stated Laura Bush
TODAY correspondent Ree Hines announced that Jenna Bush Hager and her mom, former first lady Laura Bush, are teaming up to co-write their second children’s book together.
According to the Associated Press, in May 2016, Harper Collins will publish “Our Great Big Backyard,” a new picture book that focuses on one young girl who learns to really see what’s around her.
Jane, the character at the heart of the story, embarks on a road trip with her family to see the national parks, and soon she’s “paying attention to the majestic sights and spending less time looking at her screen.”
The subject matter is near and dear to both of the authors. Jenna is now a mother to two daughters — 2-year-old Mila and 2-month-old Poppy — herself. And Laura Bush serves as an honorary co-chairwoman, alongside current First Lady Michelle Obama, for the National Park Service centennial celebration next year.
“I’ve hiked with childhood friends in the parks for years,” Laura Bush said in a statement given to the Associated Press. “Jenna accompanied me on a float trip through the Grand Canyon and rode a horse for the first time when she was 3 near the Big Bend National Park. I want all children to go outside, play in nature, and explore America’s magnificent sites with their families.”
Bryce Canyon is another great National Park that has beauty beyond description, come experience the wonder during National Park Week.
Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon pioneer assisted in the settlement of southwestern Utah and northern Arizona. He came to the area in 1875 to harvest timber and live. He settled behind what is now Bryce Canyon National Park, located in the southwestern part of the state of Utah. His neighbors would call the canyon behind his home “Bryce’s Canyon.” In 1928 it was given the designation of a state park. Bryce Canyon National Park is a small park, 56 square miles, by the standards of the National Parks.
Bryce Canyon, with its acclaimed geology, countless colors of varying hues, and amphitheaters shaped as horseshoes, cut out the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. With the power of nature the rainwater and the frost moisture dissolved to shape and affect the color of the limestone to create various shapes of “hoodoos,” slot canyons, windows, spires, and fins. The miraculous natural tinting of the stones and a power that is unexplanable, has colored and arranged capriciously the rocks to have created a wonderland landscape of mazes. Those that have taken a walk along this wonderland have experienced a memorable and exciting memory.
With the meadows located in the high elevations of the plateau, the foliage is abundant and the wildlife flourishes. The plateau has also been deemed as one of the world’s best air quality. The rim affords a panoramic view of approximately 200 miles in a three state radius. It is also known as one of the best stargazing locations due to a very small light sources.
The marvel of the “hoodoos” were described by the Paiutes as the “Legend People” that were turned to stone by Coyote. The geological term for “hoodoo” is a pillar of rock, usually fantastic shape, left by erosion. It is also known that “hoodoo” means to cast a spell.
Within the Bryce Canyon National Park, erosion has been created with the fun, whimsical “hoodoos.” Geologists have an answer, they state that millions of years ago whatever forces were present on Mother Earth, moved these cute enormous objects that were named Aquarius and Paunsaugunt Plateaus. Today, the rock layers of the Aquarius now reach 2,000 feet above the Paunsaugunt’s same layers.
The ancient rivers’ flow took to carving out the tops and formed the edges of the large rocks. Layers were removed and this brought about the chiseling and sculpted forms. This brought about the creation of the Paria Valley and then later caused the widening of the plateaus.
No matter what the cause, these wondrous shapes have certainly cast their spell for all that have ever visited, and those that wish to visit.
Capitol Reef National Park, in the Boulder Loop District of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is all that one would expect from a visit. There is an abundance of history of the Fremont People, the earliest dwellers who were farmers and hunters, dating back to 700 AD. The area being fertile land due to the lakes and streams made for abundant hunting and fishing, and rich farmland.
Their heritage relates them to the Ancestral Puebloans but they disappeared from the area about 1250 AD. Fortunately, these Native Americans left their records on the rock and the canyon walls.
In the 1600’s the Paiute Indians took over the lands. Here the Paiute’s enjoyed all the riches that the area possessed. In the 1800’s the first pioneers located this rich land and began to establish a settlement. By 1872, the territory was no longer an uncharted area, it had been officially documented and explored
Around the 1920’s Joseph S. Hickman and Ephraim Portman wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the area so they came together to create the “Wayne Wonderland Club” to preserve and promote the area.
Hickman was elected to the Utah State legislature, and 16 acres in the Fruita township were designated to the status of a Utah State Park. In 1937 it reached the status as a national monument by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It received its national park status in 1971 under the Richard M. Nixon Presidency.
Capitol Reef National Park supports an assortment of distinctive ecosystems. The 900 species of flora and fauna, the animals, the geology, and the environmental features make the park so diverse.
Most popular sites and unique formations:
The Waterpocket Fold is the most distinguishing feature in the park, a 100-mile long classic monocline uplifted 7000 feet on the west side.
Capitol Dome is a massive white sandstone formation that resembles the U.S. Capitol building. The park was partly named for this landmark.
Chimney Rock is a towering 400-foot-tall sandstone pillar, located three miles west of the visitor center off Highway 24 and accessible via a short hiking trail.
Hickman Bridge is a huge natural arch spanning 133 feet wide and 125 feet tall. The arch is named after Joseph S. Hickman, an early advocate for Capitol Reef’s preservation.
The Castle, an impressive craggy sandstone formation visible from Highway 24.
Cassidy Arch, a pink Kayenta sandstone arch spanning 50 feet, above the Grand Wash. Accessible by a moderate three-mile round trip hike.
The Bentonite Hills are round formations with a checkerboard facade, located 9 miles from River Ford.
Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Moon and The Walls of Jericho are some of the massive monoliths (standing 400 to 500 feet high) located in the scenic Cathedral Valley.
Gypsum Sinkhole, is a 200-foot deep sinkhole, 50 feet in diameter, near the Cathedral Valley Junction.
Share your favorite story and photos invite upload photos on your social media #findyourpark #findyourstory
April 18, 2015 is the kick off of National Park Week. The National Park Service announces that it has again partnered with the National Park Foundation for National Park Week. This Presidentally acclaimed celebration of the United States’ national heritage offers free admission to all National Parks on opening weekend, the 18th and 19th of April, 2015.
Your amazing first view of Bryce Canyon National Park offers the wonder of the numerous rows of the majestic pine trees that will obscure the vibrant colors and the splendor of the canyon. Once visitors reach the rim, a magnificent array of colors spring forth, giving a spectacular view particularly during daybreak and sunset. Take a 37 mile round trip to the top 15 most visited viewpoints of Bryce Canyon.
Capitol Reef National Park, in the Boulder Loop District of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is all that one would expect from a National Park. The magnificent scenery of the sandstone spires and monoliths, the twisting, winding canyons, and the enormous domes have been fascinating visitors since its designation as a national park in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Utah’s first designated National Park was Zion National Park. Here you will discover incredible views, renowned hiking trails such as Angels Landing, The Narrows, and Subway, will give countless experiences. The park itself has a sense of reverence which many visitors recognize much like the Native Americans who regarded Zion as sacred.
Visit one of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Parks and remember to share your experience, favorite story and photos on your social media with #findyourpark #findyourstory.
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