Updated: May 1, 2013 1:54PM
National Parks really ‘Pop’ in new book
The National Parks Conservation Association is looking to book lovers for support. Published on April 8, “America’s National Parks — A Pop-Up Book” (W.W. West, Inc.) is a high-end pop-up book (aimed at adults, but great for the kiddies, too) that features a gorgeous look at 18 (six in 3-D pop-up) of the country’s most popular parks. Proceeds from the book’s sales will benefit NPCA — hopefully to the tune of $100,000. The book, a coast-to-coast journey through each of the parks, features text by Don Compton, the pop-up creations of master paper engineeer Bruce Foster and the illustrations of artist Dave Ember in the style of the 1930s WPA posters (13 of the historic posters are reproduced in the book). The regular edition is $34.95 ($8 from every copy sold will be donated to NPCA); the deluxe edition is $105 ($80 from each copy sold will be donated). The fundraising efforts apply only to copies sold online at www.nationalparkspopup.com.
Statue of Liberty, park re-opening
The Statue of Liberty, closed since Superstorm Sandy damaged the island where it stands, will reopen to the public in time for Independence Day, officials recently announced. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the timeline for the reopening along with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. “Hurricane Sandy inflicted major damage on facilities that support the Statue of Liberty,” Salazar said. “Based on the tremendous progress we have made, Lady Liberty will be open to the public in time for the July 4th celebration.” The statue itself was spared in the late October storm, but its surrounding island was badly damaged. Railings broke, paving stones were torn up and buildings were flooded. The storm also destroyed boilers, sewage pumps and electrical systems on the island. As much as three-fourths of Liberty Island’s 12 acres was flooded, officials estimated, with water reaching as high as 8 feet. Before the statue can reopen, a security screening process for visitors must be worked out with the New York Police Department. Salazar said an announcement was expected soon. About 3.7 million people visited the statue in 2011, making it the 19th most visited national park.
Sandy came one day after the Statue of Liberty’s 126th birthday and the reopening of the crown, which had been closed for a year for a $30 million upgrade to fire alarms, sprinkler systems and exit routes. The storm also inflicted major damage on nearby Ellis Island. More than 1 million historical artifacts and documents were moved because of the impossibility of maintaining the climate-controlled environment necessary to preserve them. A reopening date for Ellis Island hasn’t been set, National Park Service Northeast Region Director Dennis Reidenbach said.