The Link: Parks and Recreation

In recognition of U.S. National Park and Recreation Month, we’ve compiled some resources that are sure to be helpful in planning the perfect mid-summer getaway. Whether your dream vacation is spent on a roller coaster, hiking through Yellowstone, camping with the kids, or visiting a few natural national treasures abroad, this month’s newsletter aims to assist with your parks and recreation research needs.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Theme Parks

Amusement Park Physics (find it on the ipl2)

This site provides simple explanations for the physics that make amusement park rides possible. Find out what Newton’s laws of motion have to do with bumper cars, design a roller coaster, see what Galileo has to do with the design of free fall rides.

Theme Park Insider (find it on the ipl2)

A consumers’ guide to the world’s most popular theme and amusement parks. The site is not run by or affiliated with any theme park company. It is an independent news resource offering coverage, information and opinion about themeparks.

Yesterland (find it on the ipl2)

This entertaining and informative site showcases discontinued Disneyland attractions. There are numerous links to both official and unofficial Disney sites. It is a delightful historical look at the park.

U.S. National Parks

Mapping the National Parks (find it on the ipl2)

This small part of the U.S. Library of Congress’s American Memory Collection documents the history, cultural aspects, and geological formations of four areas that eventually became National Parks. The maps date from the 17th century to the present for Acadia, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone. Nautical charts are included for Acadia.

National Parks and Conservation Association (find it on the ipl2)

This site contains information about U.S. national parks, including wildlife, ecology, threats to the parks, and various conservation and preservation actions to protect the parks. The NPCA is dedicated to safeguarding “the scenic beauty, wildlife, and historical and cultural treasures of the largest and most diverse park system in the world.”

National Park Service: Digital Image Archives (find it on the ipl2)

The U.S. National Park Service provides all necessary information for visiting parks, each with its own homepage and links to other non-NPS sites. The Digital Image Archive is a collection of dozens of detailed histories of the national parks of the United States, written by National Park Service (NPS) staff.

National Park Service: Park Histories (find it on the ipl2)

This NPS collection contains public domain images of national parks, monuments, battlefields, and historic sites. You can easily browse by park name.


Mr. Steiro, Mr. Moon and another man at campfire along Turtle Creek in October, 1936.

Camping Health and Safety Tips and Packing Checklist – CDC (find it on the ipl2)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a mission to “promote quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability.” Their information on camping includes information on proper vaccinations before camping, the importance of safe physical activity, and maintaining of state of active preparedness.

NEW! Joy of Camping

Joy of Camping is a website dedicated to providing information on a wide variety of camping topics.  Some of these topics include basic camping skills, cooking while camping, proper camping gear, and information on safety.  From discussions on bugs to finding the right camping spot for you and your family, Joy of Camping is a useful website to explore before setting out on a camping adventure.

Love the Outdoors (find it on the ipl2)

Love the Outdoors is a website and blog that focuses on camping and other outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking.  Information found within the site include tips on camp cooking, camping checklists, and keeping your campsite safe.

Kids and the Outdoors

30 Classic Games for Simple Outdoor Play – Wired (find it on the ipl2)

Wired Magazine typically publishes information on the future of business, culture, innovation, and science. While this list of outdoor games is a bit of a deviation from their normal technology-laden articles, it’s a reminder that imagination is important for kids of all ages.

NEW! Kids Outdoors Boston, NYC, and Philadelphia

Kids Outdoors is a part of the Appalachian Mountain Club community that strives to get children outdoors. The website serves the greater Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia area, but has articles and information for parents and kids in all areas of the country.

Sun and Water Safety Tips – AAP (find it on the ipl2)

Healthy Children is a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics. These safety tips are a good reminder of the needs that children have when out in the sun and in or around water sources.

International Parks and Recreation Sites

National Parks in England, Wales, & Scotland (find it on the ipl2)

The official website for the United Kingdom’s national parks provides details about visiting and preserving parks such as the mountain zone of the Cairngorms, Loch Lomond, the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales. The site also includes photos, news, and links to individual park websites.

NEW! National Parks of Japan

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment maintains this site. It offers information on park protection and maintenance, photos and profiles of each of the parks, and information on visiting each of them. The homepage includes an interactive map and a link to “live images” of several parks.

Parks Canada (find it on the ipl2)

This site contains information on Canada’s national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas, heritage buildings, heritage rivers, and heritage railway stations. All content is searchable and available in both English and French.

Tanzania National Parks (find it on the ipl2)

The official website for the Tanzanian national park system features high-quality images and information about 14 parks, including Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara (location of the “mass deaths of water birds, mainly Lesser Flamingo,” in the summer of 2004), and more. Content is available in English, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese.

Thank you for visiting the ipl2!

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


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