National Parks Are Closer Than You Think
Contact: Joanne Gangi-Wellman, (413) 734-8551 x236
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Celebrate National Park Week at the only National Park in Western Massachusetts from Saturday, April 21 through Sunday, April 29, 2012. Springfield Armory National Historic Site rolls out the red carpet with activities for the whole family to enjoy. Events will showcase the nearly 400 National Parks across America. Admission is free at all National Park Sites all week long.
On August 25, 1916, President Wilson signed a bill creating the National Park Service. "National Park Week is a chance for visitors to experience our National Parks up close, and to connect Springfield Armory history to other National Park Service sites," commented Supervisory Park Ranger Joanne M. Gangi-Wellman.
Throughout the week, visitors to Springfield Armory NHS may watch Ken Burns' film The National Parks: America's Best Idea in the park theater. The park will also commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, with activities for kids and families. Dressed in period costumes, youngsters and adults can pose for a historic portrait and then color their photographs. Each visitor will take home their historic photo, along with information about Springfield Armory's role producing approximately 800,000 rifle-muskets for the Union Army.
Other experiences for young visitors include making a paper lock plate-making activity for a Civil War rifle, or rolling a paper cartridge similar to what soldiers would have used with the Springfield rifle-musket. Before beginning their activity, participants take the oath that Springfield Armory workers recited during the Civil War in order to prove loyalty to the Union.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates and preserves the site of the nation's first armory, established in 1794. As a unit of the National Park Service, the Visitor Center, Museum, buildings and grounds are open daily, 9am-5pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Admission is free. For information call 413-734-8551 or check the website at www.nps.gov/spar. Explore all your National Parks at www.nps.gov.
- NPS -
Did You Know?
After visting Springfield Armory during his honeymoon, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published a poem in 1845 entitled "The Arsenal at Springfield," which used the racks of muskets stored there as an anti-war metaphor. More...