Parks & Points & Poetry

In April, we are celebrating the awe we so often feel in nature, on public lands, through a month-long poetry series to coincide with National Poetry Month. Click here to read along throughout the month; we will share the poems, featuring work by twenty-four poets whose work celebrates parks and other public lands.

Our series is edited by Celeste Hackenberg, and features poems by:

  • Phillip Bannowsky
  • Karen Berry
  • Joe Betz
  • Gary Bloom
  • Jeff Burt
  • Gabriella Brand
  • Ann DeVilbiss
  • Iris Jamahl Dunkle
  • Andy Fogle
  • J.M. Green
  • Mary Christine Kane
  • Richard Kempa
  • Joshua Lefkowitz
  • Jennifer Moore
  • Julie Moore
  • Kevin Oberlin
  • Kristin Rajan
  • Thom Schramm
  • Marjorie Thomsen
  • Kerry Trautman
  • Brendan Walsh
  • BJ Ward
  • Kory Wells
  • Tom Zimmerman

We wish to acknowledge our finalists:

  • KB Ballentine “Comfort of Solitude”
  • George Campbell, “I Walked All Day Upstream”
  • Jan Chronister, “Door County”
  • Anne E. Johnson “Dead and Alive in Turkey Run”
  • Jennifer Lagier “Moonstone Morning”
  • Leah Mueller “Glacier”
  • Ken Pobo “Climbing a Tithonia”
  • Lara Poulton, “Going to the Sun”
  • Alexandra Renwick “particles of your mud still flush my veins”
  • Elizabeth Spragins “Eventide”
  • Mary Ellen Talley “Whistler Campground at Jasper National Park” and “Lake Melakwa, 1973”
  • Paul Thiel, “Split Rock”
  • Tyson West, “Solstice Skateboarders Around the Salmon Fountain” 

Parks & Points Celebrates Its First Anniversary

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Today we are marking the first anniversary of Parks & Points. The website grew from our love of national parks, smart travel strategies, and a desire to share our passions with others. Over the course of the last year, we’ve made many new friends (especially with our Twitter pals each Wednesday night during #ParkChat) and had many opportunities to meet new friends in person. In our first year we have traveled to National Parks Service sites in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

Along the way, we have met fellow travelers and shared our passion for exploring natural and historical wonders.  We have found folks who share this passion at hotels, campgrounds, visitor centers, trails and of course, waterfalls! We’ve added National Wildlife Refuges to our itineraries, and hope to feature these with even more frequency as we progress, along with city and state parks. We’re also proud to present and develop an annual fall essay contest and a spring poetry series, which is ongoing right now, during National Poetry Month. Both projects have introduced us to some amazing guest writers and their creative work about public lands.

We look forward to continuing this adventure with all of you. We are excited to grow the site along with your readership, and we look forward to presenting our thoughts and strategies for visiting our amazing shared public lands with an eye to saving money.

Parks & Points wouldn’t be the same without our friends and families. We are grateful for their solidarity as we carry it forward into year two!

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A Primer for Planning Your Adventure to Glacier National Park

As we head into National Parks Week, we're pleased to present our primer on Glacier National Park. There's plenty to say about Glacier National Park, one of the most popular and scenic national parks — it is defined by glacial lakes, alpine valleys, vast green meadows and striking mountain tableaus. Based on our experiences with Glacier National Park thus far, we’ve synthesized our ideas, thoughts and suggestions to get you started in planning a Glacier adventure. Consider it a primer, as there is an abundance of information out there.

Our Tour of National Parks Service Sites in Northern Arizona

Now is a great time to start planning a trip to northern Arizona. The snow will be melting soon, and the weather will be temperate. Our tour covers one thousand miles of desert landscape in one week — though it can be modified based on your timing!  The 1.25 million acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Canyon de Chelly National Monument — a network of canyons shared by the NPS and the Navajo Nation — Petrified Forest National Park, and of course Grand Canyon National Park, are all spectacular highlights. The region is best toured in the summer, now is the time to start planning!

Spotlight on Yosemite Writing Retreat

We were excited to learn of a unique writing retreat that dovetails our two passions — parks and writing. We invited Jennifer Moss, founder of the Yosemite Writers Retreat, to write a guest post telling our readers more about how her retreat series originated, and what attendees can expect to focus upon as writers. Click here to read.

On Yellowstone National Park's 145th Birthday

We're pleased to celebrate the 145th birthday of Yellowstone National Park, America's first national park. 

Chris Umpierre spots an injured bison staying strong for its calf, and a host of wildlife that fills him with wonder. Peter W. Fong recalls a summer as a curator at the Madison Museum and a host of fascinating visitors. Read both, and revisit Wendy Johnson's "Two Days in Yellowstone." While on a cross country, she pauses for a quick tour. To read each piece, click on the author's name above.

Banner image: The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Thomas Moran, Smithsonian American Art Museum.