August 19, 2015
Contact: Jason Ginder
The National Park Service is turning 99 years old on August 25, and Big Thicket National Preserve wants you to join the party! Come to the park this Sunday, August 23rd and hear about the history and mission of the National Park Service. This 45-minute program will start at 2 pm in the preserve visitor center. This fun, interactive program will test your knowledge of the national parks and introduce many new trivial facts.
In preparation for next year’s big centennial celebration, the National Park Service is inviting everyone to Find Your Park. To encourage people to discover everything a park experience can be, there is a fun list of 99 ways to Find Your Park. Big Thicket National Preserve is a great place: to Relax on the Banks of a Scenic River #15, to Paddle a Water Trail #21, to Run & Exercise #74, to Renew Your Spirit #76, and even to Take a Sunrise Selfie #98. Visitors can share their park experiences with others by posting on social media with the hashtag #FindYourPark.
“Anniversaries are a time to celebrate and we want everyone to rediscover the parks in their own backyards,” said Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz. “Big Thicket offers something for everyone, so I invite you to visit that preserve and Find Your Park.”
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to create the National Park Service. Today, there are 408 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn. And, on August 25, all national parks will offer free entrance for everyone.
Big Thicket National Preserve was established in 1974 to preserve the unique ecological transition zone that is southeast Texas. Last year, more than 109,957 park visitors enjoyed the site and added $6,743,000 to the local economy and supported 95 area jobs.
The mission of the National Park Service also extends beyond park boundaries. Community partnerships help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. To see what is happening in Texas, go to www.nps.gov/TX.
Big Thicket National Preserve is located in southeast Texas, near the city Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 112,000 acres. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received national interest.
For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit www.nps.gov/bith or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700. Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/BigThicketNPS, and Instagram www.instagram.com/BigThicketNPS.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.