July 2019 Monthly Theme: Telling All Americans' Stories

Fireworks over a statue of Martin Luther King Jr.

NPS Photo

As we celebrate the nation’s birthday, it’s time to reflect on who we are. How do parks and programs share our nation’s uniquely diverse identity and the story of our journey into what we’ve become?

Upon declaring independence in 1776, we had the freedom to create our own nation and identity, which continues to evolve. As we celebrate Independence Day this month, parks, programs, and partners can share the diverse, complex, and often inspiring cultural and natural heritage preserved within our parks and through our programs and partnerships that tell a more complete story and what makes our country truly unique and “American” as part of our monthly theme.

For parks, National Park Service (NPS) programs, and our partners, here are some thoughts to inspire you!

  • Highlight nature, history, and culture that are part of the American experience or unique to your park or program.
  • Celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic event in your park, such as fireworks, concerts, memorial ceremonies, or living history demonstrations.
  • Explore stories of the pursuit of the ideals the nation was founded on, including the pursuit of freedom and civil rights for all Americans.
  • Tie this theme to other happenings in July, such as Latino Conservation Week or the Buffalo Soldiers anniversary (see below).
  • Encourage Americans to engage in stewardship of their public lands through volunteerism.
  • Promote visitor experiences that allow all visitors to enjoy their parks, such as accessible museum exhibits and trails.
  • Share a trip itinerary (thing to do or trip idea) for visitors to explore a topic that tells the nation’s history or unique natural resources.
  • Create or share a lesson plan or kids program that explores the American identify.
  • Are national parks "America's best idea?" Find ways to explore the meaning behind Wallace Stegner's famous quote: "National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."

Social Media

Social media hashtags for our monthly theme are #TellingAllAmericanStories and #FindYourStory. Don’t forget to use #FindYourPark / #EncuentratuParque so the NPS national accounts and the National Park Foundation can easily find and possibly share your posts!

Where appropriate, link back to these pages or park websites on NPS.gov:

Other July Themes & Activities

Can you find ways to connect any of these additional themes and activities to the monthly servicewide theme or yearlong themes of encouraging recreational opportunities and tackling deferred maintenance? Throughout the month, there are many other themes and celebrations that NPS parks, programs, and partners can join in. Find more information about these topics related to the NPS and common social media hashtags to use for a few of the other things happening in July:

Last updated: June 25, 2019