The Smithsonian channel has been running a series of programs on the US National Park Service (NPS) which my husband and I have found quite inspiring. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed them, too. If you aren’t able to travel to a park for National Park Week, April 15 through 23, checking out the Smithsonian channel might make up for it a little.
Five Fun Ways to Celebrate National Park Week
Throughout the USA, hundreds of programs and events will encourage visitors to explore new places and enjoy new experiences. More information.
According to Acting National Park Service Director Michael F. Reynolds, there are 417 national parks and more than 20,000 NPS employees that work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more.
Here are five recommendations from NPS to help you celebrate National Park Week.
Try Something New
Brush up on astronomy at a Night Sky Party in Saguaro National Park, go birding at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, take a photo workshop at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, make pottery at Ocmulgee National Monument, dance to Cajun music at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, or try your hand at surf fishing at Gateway National Recreation Area.
Save Some Money
The 118 National Park Service sites that normally charge entrance fees will offer free admission on April 15, 16, 22, and 23. There are also free or reduced rate annual passes available for active duty military families, fourth grade students, senior citizens, volunteers, and people with permanent disabilities.
Become a Junior Ranger
National Park Week starts with National Junior Ranger Day on April 15, a program where kids can earn a park-specific Junior Ranger badge. Children can see a bald eagle up close at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, participate in crafts at Lowell National Historical Park, go on an archeology dig at Chiricahua National Monument, or test their global positioning system (GPS) skills in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
Fill a Park Prescription
The second annual Park Prescription Day will be filled with activities that showcase the physical, mental, and psychological health benefits of time in nature. On April 23, dozens of parks, including Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Shenandoah National Park, Capulin Volcano National Monument, Tumacácori National Historical Park, Prince William Forest Park, Hot Springs National Park, and park partners will host activities that include hikes, health screenings, yoga, and volleyball.
Go Wild on Earth Day
Spend some time outside on Earth Day, April 22. Attend a wildlife festival on the Natchez Trace Parkway, go for a walk on the wild side at Cabrillo National Monument, learn to canoe on the Niobrara National Scenic River, make an appearance at a drama festival at Chamizal National Memorial, listen to a concert at Buffalo National River, weave a pine needle basket at Fort Matanzas National Monument, or meet a Civil War soldier at Stones River National Battlefield.
The NPS website contains trip planning information and a calendar of events. Use #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque and #NPS101 on social media during National Park Week to join in the fun!
The above info was taken from an NPS press release.
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