August 16, 2016
Contact: Jason A. Ginder
The National Park Service invites visitors of all ages to join in the celebration of its 100th birthday throughout the month of August. With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28, the NPS is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque for the centennial.
“August – our birthday month – will be a nationwide celebration of national parks, and we’re inviting everyone to the party,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We like to think that we look pretty good for 100, and with so many events and activities to commemorate this milestone, we hope all Americans will join us to celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and inspiring history in our nation’s parks and public lands. Whether it is in a distant state or in your own community, there are hundreds of ways and places to find your park!”
Events Across the Country
At the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center on August 25th from 12 pm to 2 pm, we will celebrate this anniversary with light refreshments and an opportunity to view a new PBS documentary on the national parks of Texas. Big Thicket National Preserve has been running several ongoing projects during the year, including: the planting of 100,000 long leaf pine trees, a social media photo contest, volunteer clean-up efforts, and a special participation patch for visitor who hike, bike, or paddle 100 miles in the preserve. Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz will offer some brief thoughts on the value of the National Park Service before officiating over a ceremonial cutting of the cake.
From a solar car relay through nine national parks, to major and minor league baseball games, to cultural and musical festivals, events and programs throughout the U.S. will provide countless ways for families, students, and park-lovers of all ages to discover special park experiences for the centennial.
A sampling of additional events is available on the National Park Service website, and many more can be found at FindYourPark.com and EncuentraTuParque.com.
Entrance Fees Waived for the NPS Birthday through the Weekend
Park entrance fees will be waived nationwide from August 25 through August 28 to encourage everyone to celebrate the NPS 100th birthday. Usually, 127 of the 412 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The entrance fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
To continue the national park adventure beyond these entrance fee free days, the $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 sites, including all national parks, throughout the year. There are also a variety of free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.
Find Your Park to Celebrate the Centennial
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.”
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of that moment and to look ahead to the next 100 years, in early 2015 the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation launched the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque movement. Inspiring people from all backgrounds to celebrate and support America’s national parks and community-based programs, #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation's natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.