Washita

Can native animals and plants be intrusive? They sure can! Back in 2015, we had an invasion of Barn Swallows in our Overlook structure. So much so, that we had to quarantine the structure and not allow access due to the dangers of bird guano, mites, and possible disease. That structure no longer exists, but the new pavilion may suffer the same fate – a conference of the birds – nesting, guano, feathers, and other debris.

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Washita

In National Park Service news feeds, an article by Alexander Neumeister talked “about the mental health benefits of volunteering – a sense of purpose, develops empathy, invokes passion, reduces stress, and increases social involvement.” 2020 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Volunteer program. The Volunteer In Parks (VIP) Act was passed by Congress on July 29, 1970 to allow National Parks to use volunteers.

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Washita

You may have noticed more ‘construction’ has occurred at the recently completed Overlook and Trailhead facilities. After reviewing blueprints and consulting experts, we wanted to “ensure that all people, including…citizens with disabilities, have the highest level of accessibility” (National Park Service [NPS] Director’s Order #42).

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Washita

On December 20, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which includes a provision that re-designates White Sands National Monument as White Sands National Park, making it the 62nd designated national park in the National Park System. White Sands contains great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand, the world’s largest gypsum dune field.

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Washita

The Headquarters of the National Park Service is located in the Department of the Interior Building in Washington D.C. Founded in 1849, it currently employs more than 70,000 professionals and stewards one-fifth of the nation’s lands. Inside, there are more than 40 painted murals in which Oklahoma is greatly represented.

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Washita

There were 411 visitors in December. As managers of public lands, we need to take into account the cultural significance of certain natural resources of the Native American community. Please take a moment and watch the Emmy award winning short documentary about Hawaii’s sacred tree, Saving ‘Ōhi’a, at savingohia.com – “The ʻōhiʻa is being threatened by microscopic fungi that recently invaded the Hawaiian Islands.

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Washita

Need a good book to bring in the New Year? At the discretion of the Superintendent, library privileges may be extended to the public. The park’s library is an essential resource that assists staff by providing research and reference materials to support park programs and to develop interpretive products.

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Washita

Adam Youngbear has been trained as a 2D Animation Artist and is Lead Animator for Cheyenne & Arapaho Television’s kids show Frybread Flats: a show featuring puppets, Cheyenne and Arapaho language, and animation. Mr. Youngbear also considers himself an artist in pop art and beadwork. Currently the park is reviewing some of his pop art stickers as sales items in our bookstore. His stickers depict characters sporting the regalia found at powwows.

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Washita

Bruce Noble, former superintendent of Chickasaw National Recreation Area (2007-2014), retired from the National Park Service at the end of November with 33 years of National Park Service experiences. While at Chickasaw, he managed the staff based at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and had the privilege of supervising the Superintendents at Washita Battlefield National Historical Site, Lisa Conard Frost and Tucker Blythe.

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Washita

Years ago, when I arrived at the park in 2014, I asked the staff for their vision of Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. Collaboratively, we came up with: A park strongly supported by tribal members and community partners that serve as a destination for opportunities to learn, heal, and connect. A few years went by, and we adopted the National Park Service Centennial Goal: Connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates.

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