24 episodes

1 parent, 2 kids, 423 national parks: Expedition National Parks transports listeners on one family’s journey to discover the cultural, historical, and natural treasures of the U.S. Following the Junior Ranger motto of “Explore, Learn, and Protect,” their goal is inspiring more people to visit national parks, particularly the less visited ones. They hope to enlist more Junior Rangers of all ages to strengthen youth and family connections to nature and preservation and will explore the surprising connection of many park sites to diplomacy, ever more important in this interconnected world.

Expedition National Parks Sienna, Kieran, and Christine

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 19 Ratings

1 parent, 2 kids, 423 national parks: Expedition National Parks transports listeners on one family’s journey to discover the cultural, historical, and natural treasures of the U.S. Following the Junior Ranger motto of “Explore, Learn, and Protect,” their goal is inspiring more people to visit national parks, particularly the less visited ones. They hope to enlist more Junior Rangers of all ages to strengthen youth and family connections to nature and preservation and will explore the surprising connection of many park sites to diplomacy, ever more important in this interconnected world.

    Gibraltar of the Gulf: Camping at Dry Tortugas National Park

    Gibraltar of the Gulf: Camping at Dry Tortugas National Park

    Almost 70 miles  west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. This 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands.  Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson and for its picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequents the area.

    Dry Tortugas National Park is a bucket list adventure for many of the visitors who make it there.  We camped for two nights and would highly recommend it but take any opportunity you have to visit what you can. Learn more about our experience as well as that of other campers.

    Just steps away from the disembarkation point of the ferry is Fort Jefferson, part of the third system of U.S. coastal defense.  Fort Jefferson is the largest brick masonry structure in the United States and is composed of 16 million bricks.  Hollywood, the energetic and expert tour guide from Yankee Freedom, shares a great deal of knowledge about the history and importance of the fort and the area.

    Information/Booking re: Camping in Dry Tortugas National Park:

    https://www.drytortugas.com/key-west-camping/

    Outdoor Organization Feature:

    Venture Out Project: https://linktr.ee/theventureoutproject

    This month we are sharing the work of the Venture Out Project as part of our community effort to showcase organizations who are working towards social justice and more inclusive public lands.  Established in 2014 by Perry Cohen, the Venture Out Project was one of the first guiding companies run by and for queer and transgender people.  Their mission is to provide a safe and fun space for queer, trans, and LGBTQ+ people to experience the outdoors as well as providing education and support that helps schools and organizations affirm their LGBTQ+ members. This is further underscored by their commitment to environmental stewardship, social justice, diversity, and inclusion.

    • 29 min
    Linda M., @TheBucketListTraveler: Celebrating Diversity, Embracing Inclusion

    Linda M., @TheBucketListTraveler: Celebrating Diversity, Embracing Inclusion

    Linda Mohammad, better known as @thebucketlisttraveler on social media, is originally from Malaysia.  She moved to the U.S. to study in Colorado, then to Texas for her first job and has been living in California since 2012 where she works as an engineer.  A few day trips to NPS sites in California led to her bucket list ambition of visiting all National Parks, which she accomplished in 2019.  In honor of Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AANHPIHM), we organized a special session on Clubhouse in the National Parks and WH Sites club. This episode features excerpts of the conversation that focus on her own roots in Asia as well as the importance of diversity and inclusion, the powerful educational role of the cultural and historical NPS sites, and the importance of volunteer work.

    Special thanks to @nationalparkpatchlady for her insightful questions.

    Follow @thebucketlisttraveler on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebucketlisttraveler/

    Learn more and support the Channel Islands Park Foundation: https://www.ciparkfoundation.org/

    Outdoor Organization Feature:

    Get Out Stay Out/Vamos Afuera is committed to increasing diversity and representation for people of color, especially indigenous youth, within the outdoor industry by ensuring they have opportunities to run, play, and discover themselves in the natural world.  Follow Get Out Stay Out on Instagram (@getout.stayout).  Please consider a donation to support their work - 100 percent of your donation will go to youth excursions: check out their website at vamosafuera.org.

    • 33 min
    Bicentennial of American Legation: U.S. and Moroccan National Historical Landmark

    Bicentennial of American Legation: U.S. and Moroccan National Historical Landmark

    On May 17, 2021, the American Legation building in Tangier celebrates its bicentennial. A U.S. National Historical Landmark (NHL) since 1982, Sultan Moulay Suliman presented the building, now part of a larger complex, to the United States in 1821. The building is a powerful symbol of the long-standing and strong historical, cultural, and diplomatic ties between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Morocco.  While it no longer serves a diplomatic purpose, it is still owned by the U.S. Government and is occupied by the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM), which comprises a museum, library, cultural and research center.  John Davison, TALIM’s director, discusses the history and importance of the building, both past and present, in this episode.

    The building is the oldest continuously occupied U.S. diplomatic property in the world.  The relationship between the U.S. and Morocco is long and deep.  Sultan Mohammed III issued a decree opening Morocco’s ports to American ships in 1777, making Morocco one of the first countries to recognize the newly independent United States.  The Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed by the U.S. and Morocco in 1786, is the longest unbroken treaty relationship in U.S. history.

    It is the only NHL listing or designation in a foreign country, excluding those in countries that grew out of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.  NHLs are those that have been recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as possessing national significance: properties that help us understand our history.  All NHLs are part of the National Register of Historic Places, which is the official list of the nation's historic properties worthy of preservation. Landmarks constitute more than 2,500 of more than 90,000 entries in the National Register; the others are of state and local significance.  Both the NHL program and National Register of Historic Places are run by the National Park Service.

    TALIM website: https://legation.org/

    Virtual tour: https://legation.org/virtual-tour/

    TALIM social media channels:
    https://www.facebook.com/TangierAmericanLegation
    https://www.instagram.com/tangieramericanlegation/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoWoGL8gO9n-Rjon-HYI2Jg

    Outdoor Organization Feature:

    Get Out Stay Out/Vamos Afuera is committed to increasing diversity and representation for people of color, especially indigenous youth, within the outdoor industry by ensuring they have opportunities to run, play, and discover themselves in the natural world.  Follow Get Out Stay Out on Instagram (@getout.stayout).  Please consider a donation to support their work - 100 percent of your donation will go to youth excursions: check out their website at vamosafuera.org.

    Resources:

    https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalhistoriclandmarks/list-of-nhls-by-state.htm
    Legation.org
    https://savingplaces.org/stories/american-history-foreign-soil-tangier-american-legation-morocco#.YKBL5GYza3I

    Photo courtesy of TALIM

    • 39 min
    Jazz Ambassadors: New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

    Jazz Ambassadors: New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

    April is Jazz Appreciation Month and April 30 is UNESCO’s International Jazz Day.  So designated to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people around the world, International Jazz Day is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021.  Not only is jazz an art form that comes from the United States, it was born in New Orleans, the Crescent City.  In recognition of the important history of this uniquely American musical art form, both nationally and internationally, Congress authorized the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in 1994.  Congress created the park to protect a significant American cultural treasure... jazz.  But jazz was embraced by the world and is an international treasure.

    Some of the greatest jazz artists of all time toured the world on behalf of the U.S. government, helping to spread the love of jazz far and wide.  These “Jazz Ambassadors” included Louis Armstrong and an excerpt of his interview with a Czech journalist on Radio Free Europe while touring in then-Czechoslovakia is featured in the episode.  For the definitive story on the history and impact of the Jazz Ambassadors, check out https://www.pbs.org/wnet/jazz-ambassadors/.  And while the Jazz Ambassadors program no longer exists, the State Department continues to do music diplomacy today, including jazz, but also featuring a wide range of genres from hip hop to zydeco.

    With education being the focus of the national park, we also include excerpts of two musical programs we attended, the first an introductory talk by a park ranger and the second a concert with jazz pianist Kyle Roussel. The park is currently closed due to the pandemic but virtual musical programs are still available.  As always, visit the park’s website to obtain the most current information, including regarding closures and altered hours.

    Episode Highlights:

    00:51  Introduction
    02:22 Louis Armstrong interview with Radio Free Europe
    04:12 Louis Armstrong singing
    06:36 Outdoor Organization Feature: Camp Founder Girls
    08:01 Ranger Jon - Lecture/Demonstration
    17:37 Jazz pianist Kyle A. Roussel

    References:

    https://eca.state.gov/jazzdiplomacy

    https://www.nps.gov/jazz/index.htm

    https://soundcloud.com/hoover-institution/louis-armstrong-on-the-czechoslovak-service-of-radio-free-europe?fbclid=IwAR2RT5RIcWP13smFg1UMaThFCnpZP-9n-0f7sdB4kP4U5G-0REfwe36j_7o

    Outdoor Organization Feature:

    This month we are sharing the work of @campfoundergirls in our community effort to showcase organizations who are working towards social justice and more inclusive public lands. Follow @campfoundergirls  for the latest info on this year’s summer camp scheduled from June 19-24, 2021. Check out their website (campfoundergirls.org) for more info and to donate.

    • 30 min
    Lady Bird Johnson, Shadow Secretary of the Interior: Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

    Lady Bird Johnson, Shadow Secretary of the Interior: Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

    We first learned about the important work First Lady Lady Bird Johnson did for the United States while at the visitor center of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.  Given our podcast’s focus on national parks, we were especially interested in her work on  conservation and beautification. With March being Women’s History Month, we wanted to further explore her accomplishments.  This episode focuses on the First Lady’s accomplishments as a conservationist--referred to as “Shadow Secretary of the Interior” by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt--in her own words, using excerpts of her audio diaries from the LBJ Presidential Library website and other sources.

    Lady Bird Johnson’s impact was tremendous.  President Johnson of course realized that and made a special presentation to her on July 28, 1968.  He gave her 50 pens that had been used to sign legislation related to conservation and beautification, only a portion of the 300 conservation measures that he signed into law, the legal foundation of the contemporary environmental movement.  He also gave her a plaque that read, “"To Lady Bird, who has inspired me and millions of Americans to try to preserve our land and beautify our nation. With love from Lyndon."

    Her impact was far-reaching and went well beyond the “beautification” campaign she is known for.  She was a very public champion of preservation of our natural space and that was by design.  With Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, she launched “Discover America” which were trips to national parks that were meant to inspire conservation and encourage tourism.  The scale was impressive: 100,000 miles, 40 tours all over the country and engaging in a wide range of activities: criscrossing the country while rafting, hiking, camping, beachcombing, stargazing, and learning about American Indian culture. These trips drew widespread press attention, both domestically and internationally, and encouraged people to visit the parks.

    The national parks were an important part of President Johnson’s legislative agenda.  He created or expanded close to 50 units: https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/planyourvisit/upload/EnvironmentCS2.pdf  These units spanned the country and were also in urban areas as both President and Lady Bird Johnson believed it was important that all Americans had access to their parks.  It was also during the Johnson Presidency that national recreation areas and the national trails system were enacted.  The legislation for national trails emphasized the creation of trails in both rural and urban areas.

    Check out a new book and podcast solely focused on Lady Bird Johnson and her pivotal role.  The diaries are a main reference for this work done by Julia E. Sweig (juliasweig.com).

    Episode Highlights:

    00:42 Introduction
    02:49 Excerpt of Lady Bird John interview conducted by Michael L. Gillette, discussing
    10:10 Lady Bird Johnson explaining meaning of beautification
    10:35 Lady Bird Johnson describing an initial meeting with Interior Secretary Stewart Udall
    11:59 Outdoor Organization Feature
    13:51 Lady Bird Johnson describing Padre Island National Seashore dedication ceremony
    18:20 Lady Bird Johnson describing Point Reyes National Seashore dedication ceremony
    20:24 Excerpt of Lady Bird Johnson’s remarks at Point Reyes National Seashore dedication ceremony (“Faces of the West” Navy Film)
    21:42 Excerpt of Lady Bird Johnson’s remarks at Redwood National Forest dedication ceremony
    28:06 Lady Bird Johnson quoting Henry David Thoreau

    References: 

    Audio diaries and annotated transcripts, Lady Bird Johnson, LBJ Presidential Library
    “Faces of the West,” Navy Film + more on podcast website

    • 29 min
    Maxine Johnston, Conservation Gadfly: Big Thicket National Preserve

    Maxine Johnston, Conservation Gadfly: Big Thicket National Preserve

    During this month celebrating Women’s History, we want to focus on the important role Maxine Johnston played in the fight to preserve the Big Thicket, the nation’s first (alongside Big Cypress) National Preserve and one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country.  In our travels, we have always been impressed by the tenacity and dedication of so many volunteers and citizen groups - true democracy in action. We all owe them so much. One such citizen and conservationist champion is Maxine Johnston, who was recently featured in a National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) blog post: These 10 National Parks Wouldn’t Exist Without Women.  Thanks to Shannon Harris from KVLU Public Radio in Beaumont, TX, who interviewed Maxine Johnston in late 2019, we are able to share an excerpt of Maxine Johnston speaking about her involvement.  The episode also features our conversation with the very helpful Ranger we met at the Visitor Center, who reviewed our Junior Ranger badges (you can hear us all take the oath together!) and spoke to us about forest restoration, longleaf pines, and the Kirby Nature Trail.

    We are grateful to Shelly Vitanza from Lamar University for allowing us to use photos from Lamar University tribute on the occasion of Maxine being selected as the Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal for Lamar University, where she spent more than three decades as a research librarian and then library director.  She was honored both for her contributions to the university as well as her dedication and success as a conservation advocate. In fact, today at 93 years young, her LinkedIn profile lists her occupation as “Conservation Gadfly.”  We are so thankful for gadflies like Maxine Johnston.

    Episode Highlights:

    00:40 Introduction
    01:48 Shannon Harris’s interview (excerpt from Bayoulands Podcast episode) of Maxine Johnston
    07:30 Conversation with Big Thicket Ranger
    12:01 Outdoor Organization Feature: Love is King
    12:52 Entire family discusses Junior Ranger booklet with Ranger
    14:56 Nature Trail description - subtlety of ecosystem
    17:54 Longleaf pine forest

    Outdoor Organization Feature:

    Donate to Love is King: bit.ly/likdonate

    Love Is King (LIK), a new organization whose vital work is helping to diversify our public lands and make nature a safe space for all people, is the outdoor organization featured in March. LIK is a movement led with love and empathy to defend the freedom to roam in nature as a basic human right. Join us in supporting Love Is King by sharing and engaging with their work and donating if you can. Follow @lik_free2roam and founder @_chadbrown_ on Instagram.

    Special thanks again to Shannon Miller and 91.3 KVLU Public Radio in Beaumont, Texas.  Check out the Bayoulands TALKS podcast.

    Bayoulands TALKS is produced in the studios of 91.3 KVLU Public Radio in Beaumont, Texas by Shannon Harris and Jason M. Miller. For more information and to stream KVLU online visit: kvlu.org. You can listen to past episodes of the Bayoulands radio series at: https://www.lamar.edu/kvlu/programming/local-programs/bayoulands.html. Bayoulands Talks podcast can be accessed on https://www.npr.org/podcasts/970687057/bayoulands-t-a-l-k-s

    Photo credits: Lamar University Special Collections and Archive

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

mtaddese.25 ,

Informative!

I’ve listened to only one podcast, and already it’s taught me a lot about the wars and how history is very important information!

Loveamazingexcellent ,

Amazing!

What an amazing experience! I’m thrilled to be able to follow along on this adventure!!

Kaylen Fitness ,

What a gem of a podcast!

Such a wonderful perspective from both Junior Rangers Sienna and Keiran, who have the opportunity to see the wonderful vast American landscape through the eyes of its’ magnificent National Parks.

It is inspiring to hear these two engaged young adults who I am sure while learning a lot themselves are giving great insights. Hearing them explore the national parks, makes me want to explore them too.

Thank you for sharing your adventures with us and can’t wait for the next one!

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