NPS Monthly Themes

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. Be sure to check out our mini-campaigns, which allow us to explore some unique moments this year.

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?

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 1, 2018