National Park Service Programs Enjoyed by Outer Banks Visitors
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
Each year, the National Park Service offers a wealth of free interpretive programs for visitors at the Outer Banks Group parks; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial. Last year, these National Park Service sites, combined, gave 4,454 scheduled programs that were attended by over 226,000 visitors. Additionally, 58,220 visitors attended film presentations and 11,175 children were sworn in as Junior Rangers.
This summer, Outer Banks visitors are already enjoying a wide variety of National Park Service programs. Last week, 12,585 visitors attended 410 programs and film presentations; 438 children completed the parks’ Junior Ranger programs.
Summer program schedules are listed in In the Park, the National Park Service Outer Banks Group summer newspaper, available at any park visitor center or Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Welcome Center. Program schedules are also available on-line at each park’s website: Fort Raleigh NHS, www.nps.gov/fora; Wright Brothers NMEM, www.nps.gov/wrbr; and Cape Hatteras NS, www.nps.gov/caha. The summer program schedule runs through Labor Day.
New programs on this summer’s schedule include: Village Walking Tour – a heritage discovery walk through the streets of Ocracoke Village; and Moonlight Climb – a guided night tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse offered twice every Thursday evening (a pre-registration program – see In The Park or the park website for details).
Four special tours will be offered this summer: Monument to the Dream Tour is the unique experience of climbing to the top of the Wright Brothers Monument; the Fort Raleigh NHS Tour of the Collections is a walk through the parks’ museum collections storage facility for a look at some very interesting artifacts; the Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet Tour provides an up-close look at Coast Guard operations and vessels, and; the Old Days at the Hatteras Weather Station relays the history of this recently restored building and U.S. Weather Bureau operations on Hatteras Island.
Evening Campfire programs are offered at the Seashore on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. A special Seashore evening program, Night Lights, will include an exploration of star gazing and tide-line bioluminescent plankton along with a discussion of why dark nights are valuable to both people and wildlife.
The summer program schedules also include many other history talks, kite building, nature walks, children’s archaeology programs, and recreational programs such as surf fishing, cast netting, crabbing, seining, and snorkeling.
Designed for children ages 5 to 13, the Junior Ranger program is a fun way for kids to learn about the Outer Banks Group parks and how to protect these important sites. Along the Outer Banks, children can actually become three different kinds of junior rangers: a Seashore Ranger at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a Flight Ranger at Wright Brothers National Memorial, and a Roanoke Ranger at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Check In The Park or each park’s website for details, or stop by one of the parks’ visitor centers. The North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, the First Flight Society and Eastern National assist the National Park Service in providing these Junior Ranger programs.
Did You Know?
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick structure ever moved. When it was built in 1870, it stood 1,500 feet from the shore. By 1999, the lighthouse was within 100 feet of the ocean. To protect it from the encroaching sea, it was moved inland a total of 2,900 feet over a 23-day period.