On 25 August 2016 the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year serving the United States, her citizens, and the countless visitors to our great nation!
As a way to help citizens and visitors join in the celebration the National Parks will host free days for park goers. The beginning of the second century stewardship, the National Park Service, will begin with engaging communities in recreation, teaching conservation, and educating others concerning historic preservation programs.
The National Park Service invites all to find your park to discover the programs in your very own back yard, or venture to the many National Parks outside your backyard.
The state of Utah has five National Parks, the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area boasts three of those National Parks: Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park.
Check with the National Park of your choosing to find your park’s free admission day as part of the Centennial Celebration.
Find your park, explore the great outdoors, take park tours to learn all there is to know about these great American historic places! Go to National Park Service, to plan your visit.
Make sure and check out the National Park Service website to make the most of the centennial celebration! Find Your Park, find some fun, find quality time to spend with your family, neighbors, friends, and spare an adventure during the Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service as a way to connect with other.
The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad is being resurrected in an unusual way in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Partners David Grow and George Jones of Environetics have built a caboose and railroad village at Big Rock Candy Mountain, north of Marysvale in Piute County. In February they received a 50-year lease of the old Denver and Rio Grande Depot from the city of Mt. Pleasant to build a similar resort there.
Jones, a retired railroad union executive with an interest in historic railroading, began collecting cabooses several years ago. About six years ago he approached Grow with the idea of turning them into a unique resort.
After several years of planning, last year the pair opened the Track 89 Caboose Village Resort at Big Rock Candy Mountain with three railroad cars. This year they have seven and next year they hope to have 10. The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area recently awarded the project a $25,000 grant for landscaping and parking.
Grow said it is unlikely the Mt. Pleasant facility will be open this season since major work needs to be done to prepare the site and move the railroad cars into place. He is very excited about the location, however.
“We’ve always loved that old depot and looked into moving it further down Highway 89 but found it was too expensive,” Grow said.
In 1977 the building was rescued from demolition by a group of local citizens who wanted to preserve it and had it moved to its present location from 500 West and Main.
The new location is ideal, Grow said. “It has great visibility, right on Highway 89. We will make sure that no lodging will block the beautiful view of the terrific old depot.” Grow said the Mt Pleasant site could eventually have as many as 15 rail cars.
He said they plan to incorporate several historic elements into the resort, but they have not yet determined if that will be in the setting of a small museum or as enhancements to the railroad cars themselves.
While some have suggested that the pair open a similar resort in Thistle in Utah County, Grow said that the Utah County planning department is not open to the idea.
“It would be like trying to push a river upstream,” he said.
MPNHA Director Monte Bona sees these two resorts as a first step to bringing about a railroad museum and interpretive center in the area, one of the goals of the MPNHA’s management plan.
“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area reached the high threshold for national designation by articulating the thesis that Mormon colonization played a major role in the development of the West. The coming of the railroad era had a signifi cant impact that needs to be interpreted, displayed and conveyed as a crucial part of the Mormon country story,” he said.
The railroad first came to the Sevier Valley in 1893 when the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad expanded its line from Chester to Manti , connecting it with its Valley Line at Thistle Junction via Mt. Pleasant and from Manti to Marysvale.
At its peak, the line ferried passengers to Richfield where tour companies would meet the train at Marysvale and take tourists to Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. For several decades it spurred economic growth in the area, especially in the livestock trade.
However, as automobiles grew in popularity, the railroad began to wane. In 1949, D&RGW dropped passenger service in the area. From then until the Thistle mudslide of 1982 shut down the line completely, the line primarily carried freight. Aft er the mudslide the D&RGW determined it would not be cost-effective to restore the line, which had been operating at a loss for decades.
Now, with the Environetics projects, railroad buff s and families will have a unique opportunity to experience a taste of the rich railroading history of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.
For more information, contact or MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065 or David Grow at 801-375-9090.
The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89
Kelly Stowell <email@example.com> of the Utah Film Commission
Date: Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM
Subject: Little Hollywood Shootout
Quick Turn Around Film Competition Kicks Off
March 16, 2016 at High Noon in Kanab
Kicks Off March 16, 2016 at High Noon in Kanab During the Shamrocks and Redrocks Festival
KANAB, Utah – The unmistakable landscape found in the Kanab area has made this part of southern Utah a favorite destination for filmmakers since the 1920’s. In line with this great filmmaking tradition, the annual “Little Hollywood Shootout,” kicks off at the historic Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The “shootout” is a quick-turnaround film challenge requiring filmmakers to produce a short film with Kanab area locations as the backdrop.
At high noon on March 16, 2016 film production requirements including locations and a theme will be revealed to participants. Competitors will then have 49.5 hours to write, direct, edit, and complete a five-minute film. Film submissions are due at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 18, 2016 either in person or online. The shootout films will then be premiered at a community screening and awards ceremony in the evening on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Crescent Moon Theater during the “Redrocks and Shamrocks” festival in Kanab.
“The shootout is the thunder dome of quick turnaround film challenges, and in addition to building on the film heritage of southern Utah, the competition provides aspiring filmmakers an opportunity to produce a film in the same place where film legends like John Ford and Clint Eastwood also worked,” explained Kane County Film Commissioner, Kelly Stowell, one of the organizers and founder of the event. “Coupled with the Shamrocks and Redrocks festival, Kanab is the place to be for the Saint Patrick’s day weekend. We have a great event planned this year and are looking forward to a fun filled weekend,” commented Stowell.
Prospective filmmakers of all ages from beginners to veterans are invited to take part in the challenge. Two divisions are available for participants with one category intended for novice filmmakers of all ages looking to gain experience and the other division is designed for competitors who have experience with film production. Primary filming locations are required to take place in Kane County, but editing and post-production can take place at the participants desired location.
Sponsors of the event include AT&T, Kane County Office of Tourism and Film Commission, Center for Education, Business, and the Arts, Kanab City, and the Utah Film Commission. “We appreciate our sponsors and this event would not be possible without their tremendous contributions to the shootout,” said Stowell.
Festivities of the Little Hollywood Shootout conclude with film premiers and awards ceremony taking place at Kanab’s Crescent Moon Theater, showcasing submitted films on the evening of Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm. Community members and participants are strongly encouraged and invited to attend.
For more information about “Shamrocks and Redrocks” visit http://www.visitsouthernutah.com/Shamrocks_and_Redrocks_site
Pictured: Filmmakers are presented with money, awards, and awesome trophies at the 2015 Little Hollywood Shootout at the Crescent Moon Theater in Kanab.
“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
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.”
Ree Hines, Today
Bryon C. Andreason author of Looking For Lincoln in Illinois series has a new addition to his collection with his newly published book, Looking For Lincoln In Illinois; Lincoln And Mormon Country . This new book introduces the rich history of the early Mormon leaders and Abraham Lincoln. This edition contains over thirty amazing stories that connect President Lincoln with the Mormon community and members.
It is an honor for the Mormons and the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area to be recognized by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area with the publication of Andreason’s latest addition to his popular series.
Andreason amply tells of the great generation of the nineteenth century pioneers and of the Latter-day Saints, in Nauvoo to the state capital of Springfield. Included in this publication are maps, historic photos, Mormon expeditions, descriptive battles, interesting events of his travels, the now famous inns in which Lincoln visited. Also included in the edition are Brigham Young and various Mormon apostles of the time.
The book also includes colorful and engaging looks at key figures such as Brigham Young, various Mormon apostles, and more. Anyone inspired by Lincoln, as well as Mormon and Illinois history enthusiasts, will appreciate this look back at a long-past, but not forgotten, landscape.
Those with any interest in the history of the nineteenth century history, Abraham Lincoln, and Mormon history will sure be pleased with his latest publication.
There is another interest that the Looking For Lincoln and the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area have in common, it is the recently published book Legends, Lore& True Tales In Mormon Country. This insightful book was edited by Monte Bona, Director of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.
It contains contributions from authors Christian Probasco, Steven J. Clark, Eileen Hallet Stone, James Nelson, Jack C. Billings, Ed Meyer, Jack Monnet, Jason Friedman, and Shirley Bahlmann. These gifted authors have brought to life the exciting life and times in the Mormon Country.
Interesting and beloved stories of Brigham Young, Hiram Bebee, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Maude Adams, Chief Walkara, Chief Black Hawk , and Zane Grey’s ghost and numerous other stories. This book is a wonderful addition to your library, our family truly enjoys learning between myth or fact in our new home.
These books are a great Christmas gift for all that have an interest in the Mormon Country, and in President Abraham Lincoln.
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.
What is famous about Bryce Canyon?
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.
Come experience the beauty and wonder of this magnificent landscape that only exists in Bryce Canyon National Park.
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Natural Wonders of the World: America’s top five National Parks
There is never a better time to begin your Zion National Park Adventure. As one of the Natural Wonders of the World: America’s top five National Parks; it is on many lists of must see places, including National Geographic Top Ten National Park Landmarks. There are numerous reasons to visit this world wonder and all of them will fascinate the imagination and leave you breathless at the magnificent views and experience in the park.
Zion Canyon Visitor Center:
Here you will get maps and permits you will need for your exploration of the canyon. Rangers are available to assist you and answer any questions you may have. There are two main campgrounds, gift shops, restaurants, and other attractions. Here you will find The Watchman trail head. The towering Watchman, stands some 2500ft/1995m above the canyon floor to keep watch over and protect the canyon.
You will certainly want to visit the Zion Museum to learn the creation of Zion Canyon. Millions of years of erosion left these magnificent Navajo sandstone towers and cliffs. Zion Canyon is but one of the steps in the Grand Staircase that begins at the Grand Canyon and ends at Bryce Canyon.
Court of the Patriarchs:
With just a short hike, you will come to the base of three sandstone monoliths. These are named after the ancient old testament patriarchs: Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. From here you can access the Sand Bench Trail, which will take you along the Virgin River to the Zion Lodge.
The Zion Lodge lies in the heart of Zion Canyon. Here you will find gift shops and food service.
Emerald Pools Trailhead:
The trail head to the three Emerald Pools begins at the Zion Lodge. You can see the reflection of the surrounding cliffs as you look across these crystal clear pools.
The Grotto- Angels Landing & West Rim Trailhead:
One of the most spectacular hikes in Zion, begins here. This hike up to Angels Landing is an experience that stops those faint hearted and with a fear of heights. The 2,000 foot shear cliffs that drop off from both sides of the narrow trail, require a good deal of steal in the bravery department, as you approach the top. Although this is a psychological and physical test, the view of the canyon floor from the heights above is certainly well worth the hike.
Weeping Rock- Observation Point Trailhead:
An amazing sight is that of the porous Navajo sandstone monoliths. Water pervades down through the sandstone and as it reaches impermeable layers that allow the water to flow horizontal until it seeps to the face of the cliffs. Thus is the case of the Weeping Rock.
Big Bend – The Organ:
Big Bend will have you standing at the base of a 2,000ft/6,010m shear cliff on the north side of Angels Landing. A 1,100ft Monolith “Organ” (resembling a pipe organ) stands here at the edge of the Virgin River.
Temple of Sinawava- Riverside Walk-
Is the end of the canyon road, and the beginning of the Riverside trail. It winds along the banks of the Virgin River which ends at “The Narrows.”
Is a one way 16 mile hike through the narrow canyons of the Virgin River. The towering steep cliffs over 1,000 feet high surround you.
The Riverside Trail
will allow you to go as far as you wish. The many famous Zion Park photographs are taken in Zion Canyon. These include the Patriarchs, the Great White Throne, and scenes along the Virgin River.
Outdoor Activities include:
- Horseback Riding
- Off Road / ATV
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