Share your thoughts in haiku
Celebrate the 101st b-day of NPS

Leading up to the 101st birthday of  the National Park Service, NPS has invited the public to share their favorite #Parks101 memory, tip, or story via social media.

To make it even more interesting, they’ve proposed a creative twist: can you do it in haiku? NPS is especially interested to see what folks do with Twitter’s 140 characters

Here in the Hudson Valley, the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites will start sharing #Parks101 about sites in Hyde Park across all their social media platforms on Friday, August 11. Email yours to or post at any of these:

On August 25, the official birthday, NPS and the National Park Foundation will share some of the most creative posts on national social media accounts.

How to write haiku

Photo by Bill Urbin, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, NPS

Haiku is  Japanese verse in three lines with 17 syllables. Lines one and three have five syllables and line two has seven syllables.

Haiku often focuses on images from nature while emphasizing simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. They are frequently described as mood poetry without metaphors or similes.

Poke around online for tips and advice. The Academy of American Poets has a section about haiku with examples from well-known poets such as Ravi Shankar and Richard Brautigan.

Sample haiku

Christian Kuklis, then a fourth grader at  JDWR Intermediate School in Arlington, submitted this poem for THV’s 2012 Writing about Place contest:

A Haiku: Summer in Pleasant Valley’s Community Garden
Flowers everywhere
I plant, weed, water… beauty
now, then… forever.


Photo courtesy of Historic Cherry Hill

In 2014, tenth graders at Averill Park High School worked with their English teacher, Kristine Schaefer, and Becky Watrous, education director at Albany’s Historic Cherry Hill, on a project involving research, writing, debate, and ultimately a field experience.

Matt Bedell, Katelyn Pohlmann, James Clark, and  Alex Thomas created an entire PowerPoint of related Haiku. One read:

Cherry Hill is old
Beat up and kicked down
We think it should not be kept

Here are a few haiku from National Park Service staff and volunteers:

A Lesser Known Park
Of Four Hundred Seventeen
Still a Gem to Me

I’ll Share a Park Tip
Plan a Trip with NPS
Find Your Park Safely

Did You Know About Me
One of over four hundred
Waiting to be found

Take Parks 101
Explore Safely and Have Fun
Experience it

Post, Share, Like Your Park
Help another explore too
What will you tell them