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National Parks and Preserve America

National Parks and Preserve America

President and Mrs. Bush are working to safeguard America's heritage, protect our National Parks, and conserve our oceans. Mrs. Bush's leadership has helped ensure that our Nation's priceless intellectual and cultural artifacts, historic structures, and sites continue to be preserved and enjoyed for the benefit of future generations.

  • Mrs. Bush promotes stewardship and pride in our National Parks. In her role as Honorary Chair of the National Park Foundation, Mrs. Bush encourages Americans to appreciate and protect our country's national treasures and natural resources.

  • Through programs like Junior Rangers and First Bloom, Mrs. Bush supports efforts for youth across the country to visit and learn about America's National Parks.

    • Originally founded by the National Park Service in the 1960s, the Junior Ranger program introduces young people to America's national parks and historic sites. Currently operating in 297 of the 391 National Parks across the country, as well as on the Internet, Junior Rangers learn lessons about history, culture, and science, as well as respect for nature and an appreciation for our role in protecting it. Each year, approximately 384,000 children and their families participate in age-appropriate and park-specific self-guided activities for children ages 6-14 years old. As children complete each activity by exploring the park, attending ranger-led programs, observing park staff and completing projects, they work toward earning their Junior Ranger badge. Upon completion of the program, children receive a Junior Ranger badge, certificate, or hat at an official "swearing-in" ceremony, often including a photo session with a park ranger and an announcement over the visitor center loud speaker.

    • In October 2007, Mrs. Bush launched the First Bloom program, a new effort by the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and community groups to connect young people to our national parks. Founded in honor of the former First Lady's conservation legacy, First Bloom takes children on visits to national parks near their homes, introducing them to plant species native to their area. Park rangers educate kids about seed cultivation and garden design, and teach children to identify and remove invasive species. With help from flower experts, children return native plants to their native homes.

  • The National Parks Centennial Initiative announced by President Bush and championed by Mrs. Bush will help ensure another century of conservation, preservation, and enjoyment of America's National Parks. Over the next 10 years, this effort will fund significant improvements to our National Parks that will enhance family experiences in parks by adding visitor services and restoring historic and cultural sites for public enjoyment.

  • The Preserve America Initiative encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy America's priceless cultural and natural heritage. Established by Executive Order on March 3, 2003, Mrs. Bush advocates a greater shared knowledge of our Nation's past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities. To date, more than 180 Preserve America grants have been awarded, totaling $12.7 million.

    • In 2007, President Bush sent proposed legislation to Congress for the Preserve America and Save America's Treasures Act. If passed by the Congress, the Act will help ensure the government's continued ability to protect America's historic places, objects, and collections for many years to come.

  • Mrs. Bush has championed conservation and protection of our oceans and coastal resources. She emphasizes the important role of ocean literacy and education, most recently by designating the J. L. Scott Marine Education Center as a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center. Through the Marine Debris Initiative, Mrs. Bush advocates public and private efforts to clean up debris, educate the public about recycling and trash disposal, and to work with our international partners to reduce marine debris from entering the ocean. Underscoring the importance of native culture and resource protection, in 2007 Mrs. Bush announced the native Hawaiian name of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument as the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
Latest News
June 23, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at an Active Trails! Event
May 12, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Preserve America Presidential Awards
April 21, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a First Bloom Event
April 10, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a First Bloom Event
February 6, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Junior Ranger Event
More »

Photo Essays
Mrs. Laura Bush and Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Larry Wiese share a laugh, Thursday, May 23, 2006, during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mesa Verde and the Antiquities Act in Mesa Verde, Colorado. Also pictured are members of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. White House photo by Shealah Craighead. National Parks and Preserve America Photo Essay

Related Links
Centennial Parks Initiative
Preserve America
Save America's Treasures
Junior Rangers

Click Here to visit the Preserve America Web Site
Preserve America is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)

Click here to visit the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
ACHP is an independent federal agency

Holiday in the National Parks
Holiday in the National Parks