Katherine DeGroff’s article “Lest We Forget” in the Spring 2021 issue of, “National Parks” Magazine tells the story of former park service employee Jeff Ohlfs’ dedication to his project of memorializing online the deaths of National Park Service employees in the line of duty.
According to DeGroff, “The memorial, which spans more than a century, sparingly documents the lives of 264 men and women, and includes references to more than 90 parks in over 35 states and territories.” The memorial went live last year when NPS was celebrating its 104th anniversary,
Reading the listings from start to finish honors not only those who died in falls, equipment wrecks, avalanches, plane crashes, and hostile encounters with law-breaking civilians, but with Ohlfs’ dedication to missing not a single person who died in the line of duty.
DeGroff quotes Ohlfs as saying, “We honor our military fallen. We honor our emergency services people. The National Park System isn’t too far away from that.” I agree, and I hope that when Ohlfs retires from his retirement duties, somebody with a love of the park service and the sacrifices it requires will step forward and carry the torch forward into the future, lest we forget.
Harriet Tubman is quoted as saying, “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say–I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”
If you subscribe or have access to “National Parks Magazine,” you might enjoy “Remember Aunt Harriett” by Rona Kobell about the recently completed Harriet Tubman visitor center in a new historical park in Maryland. It’s part of a coordinating group of sites near Chesapeake Bay, including the Harriet Tubman Memorial Garden and the Harriett Tubman Museum in Cambridge, The Bucktown Village Store, Bestpitch Ferry Bridge, and Brodess Farm.
The visitor center, which is managed by Maryland and the National Park Service offers a handy guide here.
As Kobell wrote: “She taught them courage and endurance. Now Harriet Tubman’s descendants can walk the paths she walked and pay their respects at a park honoring the great liberator.”
Park Entrance Fees Waived for August 25 –August 28
Entrance fees to the Park, as well as all other units of the National Park Service, will be waived for four days.
WEST GLACIER, MONT –On August 25th celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The celebration is as much a reflection on the importance the national park system has played in our nation’s heritage as it is an opportunity to look forward to the next 100 years. As we take that look,we must do everything we can to foster the next generation in becoming outstanding stewards and advocates for Glacier National Park and prepare them for the future challenges of protecting its natural resources, celebrating its cultural legacy, and providing for outstanding visitor experiences.
At Glacier, we are in the forever business, always taking that long look forward to where we are headed. The next generation will be challenged by managing the parks in the face of climate change. For this park it could mean the loss of its remaining glaciers with significant impacts on the ecosystems and the waterways which originate from here. The next generation will also face an ongoing change in park demographics.This could mean a demand for new recreational experiences, adapting to increases in visitation, and adjusting to rapidly evolving technology.
Our cultural heritage at Glacier National Park goes back far beyond the establishment of the park. It goes to the deep connectivity that the Kootenai, Blackfeet, Salish, and Pend D’Oreille have to this landscape. Thosenative traditions and practices are an important part of the deep rich texture of Glacier National Park. As the park and tribes move forward together in the next 100 years, the next generation has the opportunity to strengthen important programs, such as Native America Speaks, tourism development, and the Iinnii project, and develop new initiatives with our tribal partners.
As we enter our second century, I invite you to celebrate with us the sense of wonder that these historic and wild landscapes have instilled in us all.
The National Park Service Centennial Week Events
National Park Centennial Instameet: Glacier National Park, partnering with the Glacier National Park Conservancy, the Department of the Interior, and Visit Montana as well as special guest photographers are hosting an Instameet on August 25from 6 p.m. to sunset in the Apgar Village Green near the Apgar Village Inn. Visitors are encouraged to come together to connect, explore, and celebrate creativity with a camera, make new friends, exchange ideas, and celebrate the 100thbirthday of the National Park Service (NPS). All ages, levels of experience and types of cameras are welcome. Around 6:15 p.m. the host of the Instameet will say a few words in regards to the National Park Service centennial. The official Glacier National Park Service centennial visitor photograph will be taken around 7:00 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to sign the photo matte and be a part of NPS history. The photograph will be posted on our social media sites, printed and hung in the park, as well as copy presented to the director of the National Park Service. It is anticipated that attendance will be high;visitors are encouraged to park at the Apgar Visitor Center and take the bike path to the event.
Happy Birthday NPS 100 Ranger Program: Say “Happy Birthday NPS” and join a national park ranger for a special program at the St. Mary Visitor Center Auditorium, Thursday, August 25, 8:00 p.m. Admission is by ticket only, with only 209 tickets available. Attendees can pick up a free ticket at the St. Mary Visitor Center beginning on the morning of August 24.The program will explore the history of the National Park Service, reflect on the last 100 years, and the role Glacier will play as we prepare for the next 100.
Logan Pass Star Party: Explore the dark skies of Glacier National Park and attend the Logan Pass Star Party. Admission is by ticket only. Attendees can pick up their free ticket (one per vehicle) at the Apgar or St. Mary Visitor Centers beginning Thursday August 25. The Logan Pass Star Party will be held at Logan Pass Parking Lot from 9:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday, August 26. Attendees will have opportunities to meet with rangers and members of the Big Sky Astronomy Club while taking in the unusually dark skies. There will also be telescopes available to look into the depths of the universe.
Give Back To Glacier Week: The Glacier National Park Conservancy (GNPC) is hosting a “Give Back To Glacier Week,” from August 19 –28.GNPC volunteers will be at entrance locations throughout the park asking for involvement in the program. The GNPC is the official fundraising partner of Glacier National Park providing funding for vital projects and programs that preserve and protect the park.
Wish I could be there.
Malcolm R. Campbell’s contemporary fantasy novels “The Sun Singer” and “Sarabande” are set in Glacier National Park. He was a bellman at Many Glacier Hotel while in college.
Glacier National Park and the Glacier National Park Conservancy are accepting art submissions from sixth through twelfth grade students for the annual park pass artwork contest. The winning art will be displayed on the 2015 Glacier National Park Annual Park Pass.
Students are encouraged to submit art that focuses on the natural resources protected and preserved in the park. Each entry must include original artwork. Entries will be judged on the use of color, and design and accuracy of a scene that depicts one or more natural resource of the park. The deadline to submit artwork is April 11. Visit the park’s webpage at http://www.nps.gov/glac/forkids/index.htm for more information and an application, or contact the park at 406-888-7800.
The purpose of the annual pass artwork contest is to get students engaged with Glacier National Park, while creating an awareness of stewardship and increase an understanding about resources protected in the park.
The pass featuring the winning artwork will be available in January 2015, and more than 14,000 passes will be issued during the year. The top three winners will receive a gift certificate from the Glacier National Park Conservancy.
Last year Glacier High School Student Valarie Kittle submitted the winning entry. Kittle’s image of the historic Lake McDonald Lodge is highlighted on this year’s annual park pass.
Since some 14,000 of these passes are sold to visitors each year, the winning artwork will have a great audience.