As the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates 100 years of protecting and preserving the nation’s parks and monuments, all Americans are encouraged to get out and #FindYourPark during National Park Week, April 16 through 24. All National Park Service entrance fees will be waived for the week so choose a park, near or far, and discover what makes it unique.
Each of the 410 national parks is a thread in the tapestry that tells the story of our country – its beautiful landscapes, diverse culture, and rich heritage. Throughout the year, and especially during National Park Week, the NPS and the National Park Foundation, invite everyone to discover and share their own unique connections to our public lands.
“We have an amazing variety of special events taking place during the centennial,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Some commemorate our first hundred years, but many others look to the future, to the next 100 years, and will help connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. It is through them that America’s lands and stories will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”
“With free admission to parks all week long, National Park Week is the perfect opportunity to check out a new location, revisit one of your favorite parks, and perhaps invite a friend who has never visited a park before to join you,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “It’s a great time to experience and celebrate our parks and historic places, and discover and share with each other how these treasured places are vital and relevant to people from all backgrounds from all over the country.”
National Park Week will kick off with National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 16. Parks will host kid oriented activities and distribute the new Centennial Junior Ranger booklet and badge. Throughout the week, many parks will also host Every Kid in a Park events, which encourage fourth grade students to visit national parks and other public lands by offering a free annual pass.
Other highlights during the week include an education summit on April 20, Earth Day events on April 22, a national park InstaMeet on April 23, and Park RxDay on April 24. Park Rx is a community health initiative where medical doctors “prescribe” time in parks to promote wellness and help prevent and treat chronic disease. More than a dozen national parks will offer health screenings and recreational activities, including an event with the U.S. Surgeon General.
Visit www.FindYourPark.com to learn more about National Park Week activities throughout the country.