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That's right! This blog is turning 1 tomorrow. It's hard to believe that I've been taking pictures, writing and sharing for twelve months already, but it's true. To celebrate a momentous occasion (note sarcasm here) such as this, most bloggers would host a giveaway or throw themselves a party. While I have nothing against free stuff or a good shin-dig, I've decided to do things differently.

You see, I'd rather take this opportunity to help promote something I'm passionate about. If you've been reading this blog, then you know I wholeheartedly believe in going outside.

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I spend a lot of time writing about the places I love, which means I've clocked an insane amount of hours in front of a computer. However, I only write, take pictures and share because I thoroughly enjoy admiring Yosemite, hiking the Castle Crags and wading around Flathead Lake.

But what if places like that didn't exist? What if no one had ever thought to preserve the beautiful places to which we have such cheap and easy access?

What if funding cuts for parks continue and we completely squander what previous generations have preserved? That, my friends, could be the sad reality if we're not careful.

So, rather than offering you something for your continued readership, I'd like to challenge you to give something. If you love spending time in the great outdoors or simply hope to see our state and national parks preserved for future generations, I urge you to donate.

Just to be clear: I've put my (and my family's) money where my mouth (err....keyboard?) is. A kind family member just donated to the National Forest Foundation on my behalf as an early birthday gift (excellent gift, by the way) and I recently started donating to the National Parks Foundation.

Here are a few links to get you started:

National Parks Foundation | Facebook | Twitter

National Forest Foundation | Facebook | Twitter

Want to give to your state park system? Chances are, your state has set up a foundation. For example, California State Parks Foundation is the fundraising and advocacy arm for California State Parks. A few easy internet searches should get you where you need to be.

Can't donate cold hard cash? No worries. There are plenty of ways to give back. You can volunteer (National Public Lands Day is September 29), buy branded merchandise (I'm personally a fan of these) or invest in a membership.

So, who's with me? Can you spare a few bucks (or hours) for the continued preservation of our beautiful parks and forests? It really would make my one-year blogiversary much more meaningful.

Thanks, friends.

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