National Capital Parks

Free Ticket Lottery For National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Now Open

The lighting ceremony for the 2013 National Christmas Tree will be held in Washington, D.C. on Friday, December 6, and free tickets for the event will be awarded via an online lottery. That process opened at 10:00 a.m. today, and will close at 10:00 a.m (EST) on Monday, November 4.

Slain Mount Rainier National Park Ranger 9th In Park Service History To Be Murdered In Line of Duty

When Mount Rainier National Park law enforcement Ranger Margaret Anderson was shot and killed on New Year's Day, she became the ninth ranger in the history of the National Park Service to be murdered in the line of duty, according to Park Service records.

National Park Quiz 92: Seconds

You can't take this quiz in just a few seconds, but if you invest a few minutes you'll find out if you know as much about seconds as you do about firsts.

National Christmas Tree Felled by High Winds

For the past 32 years a Colorado blue spruce planted on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. has served as the official National Christmas Tree. The tree was a victim to gusty winds last weekend and will have to be replaced.

Keeping Track So They're Never Forgotten: National Park Service Workers Who Died on The Job

The list is long, more than 200 names stretching over a century and then some. It's a somber one, as well, tracking the deaths of National Park Service employees from a wide range of fates, from heart attacks to rockfalls to cold-blooded murder.

Nature's Rock Stars in the Spotlight on National Fossil Day

Saber-tooth Cats, dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals will be among the star attractions during National Fossil Day. Activities are being held around the nation in this first ever event to focus on some interesting—and really old—stuff.

You'll Need to Win the Lottery to Attend This Year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting

People who want to attend this year’s National Christmas Tree lighting on December 3 (invited VIPs excepted, of course) will need to score tickets distributed to the general public by lottery. You can enter the lottery online or by phone during November 4-6. Here are the details.

Columbus Day is also Native American Day

The Columbus Day celebration forces the National Park Service to deal with two conflicting themes – joyful celebration of Columbus’ “discovery” of the New World, and somber reflection on the Native American holocaust that ensued.

Pruning the Parks: It Took the Park Service Over 20 Years to Get Out from Under the Kennedy Center (1972-1994)

When Congress added the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to the National Park System on June 16, 1972, the Park Service acquired a difficult and expensive set of managerial obligations not fitting well with its traditional functions. Abolishing this NPS unit in 1994 was the right thing to do.

Saddle Up and Ride for the Inauguration

USPP mounted unit.
The upcoming inauguration continues to attract a lot of attention, and a recent article in Traveler reported on some of the preparations for what could be a record crowd for such events. Plenty of work continues to take place behind the scenes, and somel of the government representatives who are training for the big day aren't even human.
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