US Presidents and America’s National Parks

US Presidents and America’s National Parks

In honor of President’s Day this Monday, there’s no better time to take a quick look back at the history of one of America’s greatest treasures, our National Park system. Though the first National Park, Yellowstone, was actually established by an act of Congress in 1872, the Oval Office has long made significant impacts on the system as a whole. While parks continued to be established throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, it wasn’t until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson, at the height of World War I, established the National Park Service to manage and oversee the ever-expanding system of federally-protected lands. Since that time, dozens of National Parks and hundreds of National Monuments have been added to the list of conserved places, with some 401 distinct areas covering more than 84 million acres across the United States and its territories.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 most-visited National Parks, as well as their year of creation and the President at the time:

1. Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Tennessee, 1926, Calvin Coolidge)

2. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona, 1919, Woodrow Wilson)

3. Yosemite National Park (California, 1890, Benjamin Harrison)

4. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, 1872, Ulysses S. Grant)

5. Olympic National Park (Washington, 1938, Franklin Roosevelt)

6. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado, 1915, Woodrow Wilson)

7. Zion National Park (Utah, 1919, Woodrow Wilson)

8. Grand Teton National Park (Utah, 1929, Herbert Hoover)

9. Acadia National Park (Maine, 1919, Woodrow Wilson)

10. Glacier National Park (Montana, 1910, William Howard Taft)

Arguably one of the most interesting things about the National Park system is that it’s never complete. In just the last 35 years, 19 parks have been added to the list, including mainstays like Saguaro National Park in Arizona and Joshua Tree National Park in California (both were upgraded from National Monument status in 1994). In total, 18 different US Presidents have overseen the addition of National Park land to the system, spanning more than 130 years of preservation efforts.

Obviously, no discussion of conservation in the United States would be complete without mention of Teddy Roosevelt, who is widely considered to be America’s most conservation-oriented president. After taking a trip to the Badlands in 1883, Roosevelt became enamored with the beauty of the American frontier while also developing great concern for the damage being done to the land and wildlife through ever-increasing development and hunting patterns. Just over 20 years later, Roosevelt channeled his passion for the great outdoors into the passage of the 1906 American Antiquities Act, which he used to create 18 National Monuments. During the course of his Presidency, “Roosevelt used his authority to protect wildlife and public lands by creating the U.S. Forest Service and establishing 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests, [and] 5 National Parks,” conserving some 230 million acres of American wilderness in the process (much of this land was protected under the jurisdiction of the National Forest Service, which was combined with the National Park Service in 1933 through an Executive Order by Franklin D. Roosevelt).

Even to this day, the quest for further conservation continues with President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, which aims to promote a responsible conservation and recreation agenda through the development of closer relationships between outdoors stakeholders at all levels. So on this President’s Day, take some time to appreciate the efforts of those in the White House to protect the incredible natural beauty that exists in all corners of the United States. If you can, head to your nearest National Park, National Monument, National Forest, or any other federally-protected area and enjoy the wonder of the great outdoors! Happy President’s Day, Nashville!

– Matt (Team Green’s Event Coordinator)

Update 2/19/15: President Obama just designated three new National Monuments: Pullman National Monument in Illinois, Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado, and Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii. Very cool!

15 Great Stocking Stuffers for the Adventurer in Your Life

15 Great Stocking Stuffers for the Adventurer in Your Life

We all know the holidays can be a stressful time of year, especially when you have no idea what to get your loved ones. In need of some last-minute gift ideas for that adventurous person in your life? Look no further! Here are a few of our favorite stocking-sized (and priced) pieces of outdoor gear that we never leave home without:

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Don’t Leave Home Without These Essential Adventure Apps!

Don’t Leave Home Without These Essential Adventure Apps!

Life requires us to constantly be on the go. While many times our phones can distract us and waste our time, mobile apps can act as useful tools that make it easier to save time and access the outdoors from wherever we’re located. It’s our passion to connect you with the best trails, waterways and natural areas in Middle Tennessee and beyond, but when we can’t be there to do the trip with you, these mobile apps provide everything you need to work on getting outside on your own!

Local Outdoors

Record a walk, run or bike ride with NashVitality (free) to track your time, distance, pace and calories burned. NashVitality will guide you to all of Nashville’s greenways, trails and waterways. With the “Explore Near Me” and “News & Events” buttons, you can always be plugged in to the active outdoors community in Nashville.

Metro Parks (free) is a complete mobile guide to Percy and Edwin Warner Parks. Find immediate access to the natural history of the parks, an interactive map, news and events, and a photo gallery. Next time you head to Warner Parks, download this app to look out for specific plant species or find the perfect picnic table mid-hike.

With the B-Cycle (free) app, you will have no trouble finding the nearest B-Cycle station. Plan your bike ride ahead of time by checking the map for all of Nashville’s stations. The biggest advantage to having this app is that you will always know exactly how many available bikes and docks are at each B-Cycle station, meaning you’ll never end up bikeless or without a place to dock the bike you’re already riding!

National Adventure

All Trails (free) is like Yelp for hiking. All Trails has information on more than 50,000 trails across the country, so you will always be able to find the perfect route near you. Each trail has personal recommendations, reviews and photos. This app helps you create a wish list of trails and keep track of trails you have completed. All Trails also keeps you up to date on local hiking events.

Take part in protecting our wildlife with Project Noah (free), which helps you create a “mission” that others nearby can join. Each mission documents spotted wildlife and plant species. Discover innumerable organisms around the world and be on the lookout for endangered species in your area to photograph as part of this citizen-scientist project.

MotionX GPS ($1.99) will identify your location anywhere in the world on topographic and road maps. With a choice of nine maps, you are sure to find the graphic that matches your terrain. This app is worth the money because you can record your tracks for whatever sport, such as mountain biking or skiing, and replay your track in real-time. Check altitude, ascent, and descent. Mark waypoints and snap a photo to keep on your map. Some other impressive features include a compass, social media tools, and a personal tour guide via Wikipedia.

Map My Hike (free), which is much like the popular “Map My Run,” will track the pace, highest speed, split times, distance and calories burned on all of your hikes. A graph shows your pace at each elevation as well. The app features a nutrition calculator to count your calories consumed and burned, and how much water you need to stay hydrated through the end of your hike.

Chimani National Parks (free) is your mobile passport to the National Parks. This app will keep you from missing important monuments, memorials and historical sites. With a map and current news, this app is everything you need for traveling to these wonders of the world!

Feeling spontaneous? Reserve America Camping (free) is a helpful tool for finding camping grounds whether you need one in a month or tonight. Search sites in state, federal and private grounds across the U.S. and find photos and details on each site using this mobile app.

Eddie Bauer Adventure (free) is a well-rounded app every outdoors enthusiast needs. Choose the activity you want to do and the level of difficulty you desire, and then narrow your options down by time of day, distance from you, and whether you are bringing kids or a dog. The app will give you detailed guides with clear photos of the places that fit your description to help you discover your next adventure.

Outdoor Utilities

Coleman’s Camping Cookbook (free) has you covered for meal planning in the woods. With everything from breakfast burritos to s’mores, this cookbook makes it easy to amplify your camping meals so you won’t go hungry!

Sky View (free) is a simple app that allows you to point your phone at the sky to point out stars, constellations, satellites, and planets. We all know identifying celestial objects can be tough, so downloading this app means you’ll never be left stargazing again unsure of what exactly you’re looking at!

SAS Survival ($5.99) has been the go-to book for survival, but now the full text can be found in mobile form. This helpful app provides videos, photos of animal tracks, knots, poisonous and edible plants, a Morse Code signaling device, checklists, and a First Aid guide. While we still advise preparing for any extreme trek thoroughly beforehand, this app can be trusted to help protect you on your next excursion.

There is an overwhelming amount of weather apps out there, but Accu Weather (free) is a reliable source for minute-by-minute forecasts, animated radar, and more details than you could possibly need on the conditions in your location. Never get caught in the rain again!

You never know when you may need First Aid skills. If you are not First Aid certified, American Red Cross First Aid (free) will help you in case of an emergency. Videos, quizzes, and step-by-step guides will help give you a basic understanding of how to handle those backwoods medical emergencies.

Connect with Others

We know people who love the outdoors are the best kind of people. Yonder (free) connects you with people worldwide who share the same passion for an active outdoor lifestyle. Yonder is basically a fusion of Instagram with Google Maps that allows you to share your adventurous pics, get feedback, and look at other explorers’ photos before you head off to a new destination.

Suited to Your Activity

Bike Maps ($0.99) provides trails for city commuting or mountain biking. Never ride down a bad path again!

iTrail Map (free) keeps all of your mountain trail maps in one convenient place. Even better, now you can read trail maps paper-free.

Anyone who loves skiing needs Ski Tracks ($0.99). This app tells you everything about your runs, such as max speed, distance skied, your ascent and descent, max altitude, number of runs, temperatures and duration. Ski Tracks places these stats on a graph, as well as on a ski map so you can see how much of the mountain you covered.

Ski & Snow Report (free) is a clear guide to prepare you each morning before you hit the slopes. Check the number of lifts open, runs groomed, and amount of snowfall overnight to make the most of your time on the slopes.

Stay safe and catch the best waves with Surfline (free), which provides the latest conditions and forecasts across the globe.

Download the apps that fit your lifestyle and let us know how they worked out for you! If you need a little inspiration or a place to upload some fantastic pics to your new Yonder profile, join Team Green this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. for a moderate hike at Radnor Lake. For more details, see our event page.

– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)

18 Truths Outdoorsy People Can Relate To

18 Truths Outdoorsy People Can Relate To

At Team Green Adventures we love the outdoors, and we know you do too. But we all have those times where a little humor lightens the frustrations of freezing temperatures, pouring rain, feeling a little too hot and buggy, and wondering why we willingly choose to sleep outside and walk through the woods with a heavy load on our backs…

If you call yourself “outdoorsy,” then we guarantee these truths will resonate with you:

1. You are far peppier at the beginning of a hike than you are just two miles in.

giphy62. At the start of every excursion you secretly know you’re the most “hardcore” camper there, and you often smirk at everyone else’s feeble efforts.

_camping_3. “And don’t even get me started on people who pretend to go outside.”

9e4b9c1230f52be02775ddaad6118d404. You feel obligated to take the most difficult route or else people won’t take you as seriously.

fe4290544d4182a253874ce0f416206f5. You save your money for an expensive trip camping while your friends pay the same amount to stay in a Four Seasons.

giphy56. You’ve experienced missing the bus back to civilization, getting stranded because of a snowstorm, running out of money and food, and you almost always lose cell phone service.

giphy47. Following extreme sports athletes on Instagram makes you want to have your own epic pics, but your photos never turn out like theirs.

fab405afd41717622f420e2cf4706d208. And sometimes you are more concerned with shooting an epic pic than you are for safety.

33d182668d57826ce4d4ba6f427386989. You love the environment, but sometimes you just want to spray the forest with insect killer.

4352931753d44241217e4b8032cb103d10. You wait all year for ski season just to end up warming your boots at a lodge, sipping hot chocolate.

giphy311. You got a GoPro to look extreme, but the majority of the video consists of wipeouts.

giphy212. Your cooler of ice melted and now everything within 10 feet is soaked in cold water.

787dc4b18def2f1c05f7ce04c1df30ae13. You bring cool camping gadgets to show off to your friends but soon realize they aren’t that useful.

e9cad6618345d253313294f44a1f5e3314. You were fine, and then out of nowhere you feel itchy in your nose, in your ears and everywhere else, and you jump at every gnat.

giphy15. You’re starving, you want Jimmy John’s, but you open your pack only to find a soggy homemade sandwich.

5121504be2308fac4cf8da7803fd34c716. Call it experience…or maybe it’s just arrogance and pride, but you tend to overestimate your ability to overcome an encounter with dangerous wildlife.

9b43de349bab9e86ed77ce599d0cf2cb17. But then you hear a rustle in the leaves and get paranoid…because you don’t know if it’s a chipmunk…or a LION.

hello-there18. Despite an overly enthusiastic start to your outdoor trek, the conditions got the best of you, and alas, you want nothing more than to go home, turn up the AC and grab a beer.


19. But when you get home and tell everyone about your grand adventures, you realize no matter how bad it got, it really was better than sitting on the couch!

When you are rested up from your latest adventure, check the calendar at Team Green Adventures for a new outdoor activity to try out…because we know no matter how exhausted you get after one trip, outdoors people are always antsy for the next challenge!

– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)