NPS Monthly Themes

Each year, the National Park Service organizes a series of servicewide messaging 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. National in scope, the themes are designed to engage parks, NPS programs, partners, and the public across the country in shared messages illustrated by the remarkable places and stories in our care. The themes are mostly organized by month, but we will have a few mini-campaigns around special moments.

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2018 Monthly Themes

January: Opening Doors

The National Park Service protects unique and significant doors, entryways, and gates across the country. These places also symbolize gateways to new experiences, from outdoor adventures, to education and learning, to careers. How does the National Park Service open doors to new opportunities?

February: Learning from Leaders

From Frederick Douglass (born 200 years ago this month!) to George Washington, César Chávez, Maggie Walker, and others working individually and collaboratively. How do parks and public lands celebrate and help us understand leadership?

March: Marking New Beginnings

Throughout history and across cultures, the spring equinox has symbolized rebirth and new beginnings. How do we find this spirit in parks and public lands?

April: Finding Your Park After Dark -- Starry Skies

As we celebrate National Park Week and International Dark Sky Week this month, let’s look at what happens in park skies when the sun goes down. What goes on in the dark?

May: Picturing Yourself in a Park

Visitors see themselves in different roles when they come to parks—as photographers, hikers, learners, and much more. As we celebrate the winners of the Share the Experience photo contest, how do visitors see themselves in our parks and public lands?

June: Celebrating the Great Outdoors

The summer travel season has begun! It’s time to celebrate the great outdoors and encourage people to get outside. Whether they’re headed to a national park or other lands protected with the help of NPS programs, how can visitors experience, enjoy, and learn from the outdoors?

July: Declaring Independence

As we commemorate the American colonies’ declaration of independence from England, what other stories of independence are told in our parks and public lands?

August: Having Fun with Friends & Family

Summer is beginning to wind down. It’s time to gather friends and family and head to a park to celebrate our 102nd birthday. How does the National Park Service provide fun, memorable, and inspiring experiences?

September: Protecting our Nation’s Treasures

Parks protect some of our nation’s most treasured places, spaces, and stuff. NPS programs work with communities to protect and share many others. How do visitors find the treasures in your park and community?

October: Celebrating Rivers & Trails -- #FindYourWay

The Wild & Scenic Rivers and National Trails systems are turning 50! With rivers and trails in visitors’ backyards and across the country, how can we encourage visitors to #FindYourWay to these places and stories? The National Park Foundation has a #FindYourWay toolkit that parks and partners can use. There are also individual toolkits for the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Systemand the National Trails System.

November: Expressing Thanks for Parks and Public Lands

Our nation would be a very different place without the National Park Service. What do you appreciate about parks and NPS programs?

December: Appreciating Our Partners

The national parks and NPS programs were built on partnerships—supporting parks and our communities. How do our partners make a difference in your park or community?

2019 Servicewide Themes

January: Recreation Resolutions for the New Year

A new year brings new goals and challenges to conquer. How does the National the Park Service provide recreational opportunities within parks and in communities to tackle our New Year’s resolutions? What’s your recreation resolution?

February: African American History Month

Preserved within parks and in neighborhoods throughout the country through NPS programs, African American history is an essential part of the American narrative. What stories can we share about the African American experience and contributions to our country?

March: Women’s History Month

Women have long been visionaries, changing the course of history. What are some of the contributions and achievements of women that are captured by parks and programs?

April: We’re on a Mission!

As we celebrate National Park Week and move further into our second century, in what ways can we demonstrate our core mission to preserve the nation’s special natural and cultural heritage for future generations while continuing to help everyone Find Your Park?

May: Undiscovered Stories

During this month of celebrations of culture, including Jewish Americans and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Preservation Month, what stories surprise or inspire?

June: Moments of Change

From commemorating great moments in history to celebrating the great outdoors and the summer solstice, what moments of change shape our history and our natural world?

June Mini-Campaigns

In June, we’ll draw attention to two additional topics through special mini-campaigns: Great Outdoors Month and the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

July: All Americans’ Stories

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?

August: Picturing Yourself in a Park

Whether visitors or staff, we all see ourselves in different roles when we come to parks—as photographers, hikers, learners, and much more. How can we picture ourselves in our parks and public lands?

September: National Parks in Your Neighborhood

A national park experience may be found close to many communities. And the National Park Service works with communities across the nation to promote outdoor recreation and historic preservation. How is the National Park Service a neighbor engaged with communities across the country?

September 15-October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month

How do parks and programs share the achievements, contributions, and cultural celebrations of Latinos and Hispanics? Shared between two months, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the contributions, achievements, and histories of Hispanics and Latinos in American culture. We can share the diverse and rich cultural history and heritage preserved within parks and through our programs and partners.

October: Arts in Parks

Whether shaped by nature or preserving the legacy of people (or both!), parks are works of art that in turn inspire artists. How can people find their muse in parks and public lands?

November: Native American Heritage Month

Celebrating American Indians and Native Alaskan and Hawaiian peoples, what history and heritage are shared within your parks or preserved through programs and partnerships?

Honoring our Veterans

In November, we’ll also focus on our efforts to work with and honor the sacrifices of veterans through a special mini-campaign.

December: Give the Gift of Parks

‘Tis the season of giving, and what better gift than a park? How do people’s contributions to our parks and public lands provide rewarding experiences for others or themselves?

From National Park getaway ideas to special commemorations and topical content, there are lots of other great story ideas across the National Park Service.

Last updated: October 29, 2018