Each year, the National Park Service organizes a monthly calendar of themes to highlight the depth and breadth of the more than 400 parks and dozens of NPS programs at work in communities across the United States. From special activities to fun social media engagement, the monthly themes provide opportunities to illustrate unique aspects of our nation’s remarkable places and stories.
2017 Monthly Themes
- January: Kicking off the Second Century – The National Park Service Centennial charted a new direction for the NPS we enter our second century. In January, we share our successes and how those actions prepare the NPS for the next 100 years. We also look ahead to plans for the first year of our second century!
- February: Arc to Equality – In honor of African American History Month, we invite everyone to reflect on the contributions, sacrifices, and heroism of African Americans and other groups that are preserved in our parks or through our programs.
- March: Exploring Lesser-Known Stories – Parks and programs contain a variety of stories and experiences that aren’t widely recognized. To share these, this month we explore stories that contribute to a more complete picture of the American experience, such as lesser-known contributions and achievements of women in American history and underutilized areas and visitor experiences.
- April: Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque – In recognition of National Park Week, we invite everyone to Find Your Park! Parks can promote incentives to visit, like fee-free days, volunteer projects, and special programs for Junior Ranger Day and Earth Day.
- May: Water – America’s great waters connect us all. This month, we explore topics including recreation, water safety, and water stewardship. We also encourage visits to ocean, lake, and river parks and promote programs such as Wild & Scenic Rivers.
- June: Great Outdoors Month – We encourage advocacy and enjoyment of the great outdoors. In correlation with a larger “Great Outdoors” movement and National Trails Day, parks and programs can highlight the many ways to enjoy nature, while also bringing attention to the contributions of partners and volunteers.
- July: Encuentra Tu Parque: Welcoming New Audiences in Parks – Inspired by July 4th, we welcome new visitors and stewards to our parks. Parks and programs can highlight opportunities for new audiences and relevancy, and many will host naturalization ceremonies in partnership with United States Customs and Immigration Services.
- August: Citizen Science – Citizen scientists in national parks gain deeper knowledge about park resources and contribute valuable information to help manage and protect parks. Especially in this month of the total solar eclipse, we focus on parks and programs that engage visitors in science and highlight innovative programs and important research across the NPS.
- September: Parks as Classrooms – National parks and NPS programs offer Junior Ranger programs and other educational opportunities and materials for families and teachers to use throughout the school year. This month we highlight the many educational opportunities available across the NPS.
- October: Healthy Parks, Healthy People – Healthy Parks, Healthy People harnesses the power of parks in promoting the health of people and the environment. In October we highlight the health benefits of visiting parks and the programs parks offer to encourage healthy choices.
- November: Preserving History and Culture – The National Park Service plays a pivotal role in preserving history and culture in parks and local communities. We explore the role of parks and programs in preserving sharing America’s stories.
- December: Supporting the Parks – The national parks and NPS programs were built on partnerships. The NPS and its partners promote the importance of these relationships and how citizens can support parks by volunteering and supporting friends groups, cooperating associations, and other park partners.
From National Park getaway ideas to special commemorations and topical content, there are lots of other great story ideas across the National Park Service.