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National Parks Revisited on Their 100th Anniversary

Denali National Park, AlaskaThis is the 100th Anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service. What a wonderful bipartisan step that was to institutionalize a process for creating and maintaining national parks throughout the country. They are enjoyed each year by millions of domestic and international visitors. We have been emulated by nearly every other country on earth.

In my second book, Saving the Places we Love, I provide numerous stories on the (more…)

Top Ten, Kid-friendly, Camping Grounds in Maryland

tent at nightimeWhat makes a campground kid-friendly? It often is a place that is easy to get to and has the basic, easily accessible and well maintained facilities. Some campgrounds have many more amenities, play areas, and access to trails and water bodies, but the most important aspects to me are places that are quiet and relaxed and where a family can go to explore the great outdoors.

I have camped at private and public sites all across Maryland. We are so lucky to have such a broad variety of natural habitats from the coast to the mountains. I have selected a few sites here that are spread around the state and all of which deserve your attention. Go out and explore the closest ones first and then expand out if you like. Many people just find one they like and keep going back. Do what you can to help preserve and maintain these treasures and be sure to let me know what you think. (more…)

A Puerto Rican Coral Island – guest post by Lori Lilly

DSC08137Culebra is an 11.6 square mile island located off of the northeast coast of Puerto Rico. It is home to 1,900 residents, beautiful coral reefs and a robust tourist economy. It is a somewhat harrowing yet stunning plane ride from the main island to this priority coral reef protection area. My first visit to Culebra was with my family in 2013 where we had a great time touring the island in our Jerry’s Jeep (“It’s not a heap, it’s a Jerry’s Jeep!”) and snorkeling off of the white sand beaches. We collectively, quite simply, fell in love with Culebra.

My second trip to Culebra in 2014 was entirely different. I was contracted by (more…)

Where Did You Go This Summer?

Ned Tillman - Fukushima debrisI spent a few days on Point Reyes and the Inverness Peninsula in California this summer. We hiked over 20 miles up and over this large piece of granite that is sliding out to sea along the San Andreas Fault. We enjoyed walking and swimming in the Pacific – brief dips in the cold water – and were also refreshed by the cool winds and mists. It is a beautiful coastline.

At one of the trailheads, I was surprised to read a warning about potentially hazardous debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami. In my new book I have written about the trash accumulations in the oceanic gyres but had not seen prior examples of trash traveling 8000 miles from Japan all the way to North America. My interest was piqued. (more…)