The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016!

For 100 years, the National Park Service has been engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.

The Centennial will celebrate the achievements of the past 100 years, but it is really about the future. It’s about kicking off a second century of stewardship for America’s national parks and for communities across the nation.

Denali National Park & Preserve, June 2012

Florida is home to 3 National Parks, more than 170 State Parks, and a multitude of wildlife preserves & natural areas.

The goal of the Florida Park Service is to help create a sense of place by showing park visitors the best of Florida's diverse natural and cultural sites. Florida's state parks are managed and preserved for enjoyment by this and future generations through providing appropriate resource-based recreational opportunities, interpretation and education that help visitors connect to the Real Florida. (from http://www.dep.state.fl.us/parks/)

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, 2010

Join the Celebration!

I want you to join the celebration by getting outside this summer! You may visit a national park, a state park, or even a local park. No matter what location you choose, I want you to experience and enjoy a small piece of the environment you'll be learning about this year in AP Environmental Science.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 2008

Your APES Summer Assignment

Your assignment is to visit a park, take at least 10 photos and/or videos, and answer the 10 assignment questions. To complete the assignment, you'll need to explore the park, complete some research, and speak with a park ranger/naturalist/biologist/etc. (the title depends on the park and job). You will then compile all your photos and information into an Adobe Spark page (that's how this page was made!) using the directions below. When you're done, publish your page and email the link to me at tammy.orilio@browardschools.com. Once the school year starts, you'll get to see the pages created by your classmates and hopefully find some new places you want to visit around the United States!

Keep reading for all the assignment details.

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 2013

Steps to Complete Your Assignment:

Step 1: Choose a park to visit. (See list of choices below.)

Step 2: Find an event to attend at the park or plan your own visit. Make an appointment with a park ranger or naturalist for the day you are visiting.

Step 3: Answer ALL the questions below. The park ranger/naturalist/biologist/etc. can help you with some. Others will require a little research.

Step 4: Take a bunch of pictures and/or videos to document your visit. You need at least 10. Take at least one photo/video to go with each question. You should be in at least half your photos/videos. (In real life, not PhotoShopped in!)

Step 5: Write up your assignment on Adobe Spark, add your photos/videos, and submit the link to me (tammy.orilio@browardschools.com) by the morning of August 22. Keep reading for more details on how to set up your Spark.

Olympic National Park, 2002

Park Options for Your Assignment:

Option 1: The coolest option! Visit any United States National Park! Check this site for locations - https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm.

Option 2: Another awesome option! Visit any state park- we have over 170 to choose from! If you are traveling, you can also visit a state park in another state. Check this site for Florida state park locations: https://www.floridastateparks.org/

Option 3: If you aren't able to travel far, we have some great nearby parks. Try the Arthur Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, or Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. These are large enough and diverse enough to be able to answer all the questions; smaller parks won't work for this assignment.

Option 4: Traveling internationally? There are fantastic parks in countries all around the world! Try for a national park or a large, unique park. If you're unsure about your choice, check with me before visiting.

Option 5: Have an idea for a location not described above? Send me a message (tammy.orilio@browardschools.com) and tell me what you're thinking/where you're going/etc. so I can determine if your place will work.

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica, 2004

10 Assignment Questions

1. Where are you? Name your park, then identify and describe the BIOME and ECOSYSTEM you visited.

2. What's there? Identify and describe 5 PRODUCERS, 5 PRIMARY CONSUMERS, and 5 SECONDARY CONSUMERS unique or important to the park.

3. What's up with the insects? Identify and describe 1 pollinator that plays a crucial role in the park's ecosystem.

4. What's invading? Identify and describe a few invasive species that are found in the park. Find out what's being done about these species.

5. What about pollution? Describe any pollution (air, water, solid waste) that is having an impact on the park. Find out about the sources of this pollution, the effects, and what is being done about it.

6. What about climate change? Describe the effect(s) climate change has had on the park so far and/or any effects a changing climate may have on the park in the future.

7. Research? Investigate any research projects that are taking place in the park. Many revolve around plants and/or animals and are long term studies. Find out the goal(s) and findings of current or past studies.

8. What's up with the water? Find out what water resources are in the park and how they are managed and protected.

9. What about the organisms? Identify a species found in the park that fits into one of these categories: keystone, endemic, endangered, or indicator. Describe the role of the species in the park's ecosystem.

10. Who works here? Learn more about the park's rangers/naturalists/park biologists/etc. Find out what training and/or college degree is required, what they do at the park, who the managing agency is, and why they chose their career. (One interview is enough; you don't need to write about everyone at the park!) Include their name and contact information.

Kenai Fjords National Park, 2015

Using Adobe Spark

Start at https://spark.adobe.com. If you already have an Adobe account, you can log in using that; otherwise create a free account to access Spark.

Create a new Spark. Put your name in the title and the name of the park you visited.

Create your Spark using the photos and/or videos you took and your answers to the 10 assignment questions. Set it up with a photo, followed by the accompanying question. Start each text portion by writing the question. Then write your answer. There's no length requirement; just make sure you thoroughly answer the question. Then add your next photo and repeat. You should end up with 10 photo/text sections (one for each question) plus your title photo and anything else you want to add at the end.

When you are done, click the "Share" button (at the top) and publish your Spark page. Copy the link and paste it in an email to me. You can always go back and edit your Spark, just Share after editing to republish. The link will stay the same, but the content will update.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park, 2015

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors! I can't wait to see your adventures!

Kenai Fjords National Park, 2015

P.S.- I work at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska in the summer, so if you find me on IG @tammyorilio, you can follow my Alaskan adventure! I work on a whale watch/glacier sightseeing boat, so every day I'm able to see whales, seals, sea otters, glaciers. Definitely check it out!

Many thanks to Kara House for the inspiration :)

Created By
Tammy Orilio


Tammy Orilio

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