• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

Help Us Make America’s Best Idea Even Better!

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Date: September 24, 2009
Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111

Be part of an unprecedented event on September 26 when the Outer Banks Group and national parks across the country invite you to make America’s Best Idea – the National Parks – even better.  Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, it will be a special day of service and celebration for visitors and volunteers to experience their parks and catch a sneak preview of Ken Burns’s new documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea premiering on PBS on September 27.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for park visitors, neighbors and staff to reflect on how the Outer Banks Group parks fit into the larger context of America’s Best Idea,” said Superintendent Mike Murray. “Protecting these parks for the enjoyment of future generations can only be accomplished with the support of our visitors, volunteers, and partners.”

The Outer Banks Group is also looking for volunteers to assist with a cleanup of the Bodie Island U.S. Coast Guard Station.  This cleanup will focus on removing debris from this historic location that was deposited by the 2006 Thanksgiving storm.  Volunteers are asked to meet at the Coquina Beach parking area at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 26, 2009.  The cleanup is scheduled to last from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon.  Additional information regarding the cleanup can be obtained by calling Darrell Echols at (252) 473-2111, extension 148.

On Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 the group will offer sneak mini-peeks (10 – 15 minute segments) of companion piecesto the new Ken Burns film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  The sneak mini-peeks will be shown at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Pavilion every hour on the half-hour 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Double Keeper’s Quarters Museum every hour on the hour, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Other programs will be offered on both Saturday and Sunday at each of the group’s national park sites.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site will be offering 1585-1586: The Exploration Expedition (30 min.) at 11:00 a.m.; Family Algonquian Activity (45 min.), a hands-on program for families, at 1:00 p.m.; The Drama Remembers (30 min), the story of efforts to preserve Fort Raleigh as a special place in American history at 2:00 p.m.; and 1587: The Colony (30 min.) at 3:00 p.m The video, Roanoke: The Lost Colony, is shown daily at 30-minutes past the hour.  By completing a booklet and attending a program, kids ages 5-13 can become a Junior Roanoke Ranger.

At Wright Brothers National Memorial, learn about the Wright brothers, their flight experimentation and their success during Flight Room Talk (30 min.) at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the Flight Room Auditorium.  Fun With Flight (45 min.), a kids’ flight exploration program, will be offered in the First Flight Pavilion Auditorium at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  By completing a booklet and attending two programs, kids ages 5-13 can become a Junior Flight Ranger.

Programs are offered on all three island areas of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Each program is 30 minutes.  The Bodie Island Visitor Center will offer Outer Banks History at 11:00 a.m., Sentinel of the Shore at 2:00 p.m., and Barrier Island Nature at 3:00 p.m.  Programs at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center next to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse include: Outer Banks History at 9:30 a.m., Sentinel of the Shore at 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Barrier Island Nature at 3:30 p.m.  The Ocracoke Island Visitor Center will offer Outer Banks History at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Barrier Island Nature at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.  By attending programs and completing a workbook, kids ages 2-14 can become a Junior Seashore Ranger.

The Outer Banks Group events and programs are just one of many occurring in the national parks across the country.  The nationwide program is cosponsored by the National Park Foundation (www.nationalparks.org), the National Park Service’s Congressionally-chartered philanthropic partner.  See www.nps.gov/September26 for more information.

All group visitor centers will be open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.  The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be open for climbing from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; tickets are sold from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Children must be at least 42” tall to climb the lighthouse.  Entrance fees at Wright Brothers National Memorial for passengers in both private and commercial vehicles will be waived on September 26; however, recreational “user fees” such as permit fees, camping fees, and lighthouse tour fees are not waived.

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