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Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
National Park Service summer programming at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore will start on Friday, May 22, 2009. A wide variety of programs will be offered daily through Labor Day. Also on May 22, the visitor centers at those three parks will begin summer hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
This year’s summer program schedule will start more than two weeks earlier than it has in previous years due to the National Park Service Centennial Initiative funding received by the parks for additional seasonal interpretive ranger positions. With this funding, the parks will be providing 383 programs per week to Outer Banks visitors. Centennial Initiative funding was provided to national park sites this year to help restore natural and cultural landscapes, provide outstanding educational and recreational opportunities for park visitors and prepare the parks for the upcoming centennial of the National Park Service in 2016.
New programs for this summer include: Village Walking Tour – a heritage discovery walk through the streets of Ocracoke Village; and Moonlight Climb – a guided night tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse offered twice every Thursday evening (a pre-registration program – see the park website for details).
Four special tours will be offered this summer: Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet Tour will provide an up-close look at Coast Guard operations and vessels; the Old Days at the Hatteras Weather Station relays the history of this recently restored building and U.S. Weather Bureau operations on Hatteras Island; the Fort Raleigh NHS Tour of the Collections is a walk through the parks’ museum collections storage facility for a look at some very interesting artifacts; and Monument to the Dream Tour is the unique experience of climbing to the top of the Wright Brothers Monument.
Evening Campfire programs are offered at the Seashore on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. A special Seashore evening program, Night Lights, will include an exploration of star gazing and tide-line bioluminescent plankton along with a discussion of why dark nights are valuable to both people and wildlife.
The summer program schedules also include many other history talks, nature walks, and recreational programs such as surf fishing, cast netting, crabbing, seining, and snorkeling.
Program schedules are available on-line at each park’s website: Fort Raleigh NHS, www.nps.gov/fora; Wright Brothers NMEM, www.nps.gov/wrbr; and Cape HatterasNS, www.nps.gov/caha. Program schedules are also listed in In the Park, the National Park Service Outer Banks summer newspaper, available at any park visitor center and OuterBanksVisitorsBureauWelcomeCenter starting May 29.
The Full Moon Tours of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will also return this year on June 7, July 7, Aug. 5, Sept. 4, and Oct. 4 – watch for details to be announced!
Come visit and enjoy the national parks!