Record Visitation to National Parks in 2016—Over 13 Percent Increase at Channel Islands National Park

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Date: March 13, 2017
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

During the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, visitation to national parks increased by nearly eight percent, including an overall 13 percent increase at Channel Islands National Park.
This past year 342,209 people visited Channel Islands National Park. Additional day visitors and overnight campers to Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands increased island visitation by about 10 percent.
There was a 20 percent increase in visitation to the mainland visitor center in the Ventura Harbor, due in part to the many fourth grade students that participated in the Every Kid in a Park program. The park had a corresponding 75 percent increase in the Junior Ranger program, with over 4,000 kids participating.   
“We are particularly excited about the increase in visitation from fourth grade students to the park. This year we expect over 5,000 fourth graders will visit, thanks to the Every Kid in a Park grants we received from the National Park Foundation, National Park Trust, and National Marine Sanctuary Foundation,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau.
Notably, in 2016, over 10.7 million virtual visitors enjoyed the park’s suite of live interactive distance learning education programs, wildlife webcams, and website content. Viewership increased by 1,000 percent for the distance learning program Channel Islands Live, as a result of partner broadcasting the presentations live on Facebook.
The local community also stepped up contributions to the park, with a 25 percent increase in volunteers participating in the Volunteers-in-Parks program. 1,955 volunteers donated 71,197 hours, a contribution equivalent to 34 full-time positions. They provided naturalist and visitor information services, supported monitoring and restoration efforts, conducted beach cleanups and shipwreck surveys, and much more.
Out of our nation’s 417 national park sites, Channel Islands National Park ranked 147 in visitation. Nationwide, there were 331 million recreation visits, a third consecutive all-time attendance record for the National Park Service. The highest visited site was Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California, with over 15.6 million visitors. The National Park Foundation is credited with helping the parks reach new audiences through theFind Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque campaign.

About Every Kid in a Park
The Every Kid in a Park program was created so that fourth graders and their families could discover our nation’s wildlife, resources, and history, for free. All fourth graders can get their pass online, at Every Kid in a Park, after they complete a fun, educational activity. They can trade the paper pass for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide.

The Explore Annenberg LLC is a charitable, nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the selfless acts of others, create a portal for the education of humanity, and inspire lifelong learning. Explore uses the power of the internet, images, music, dialogue, and the written word to fulfill its mission. Both educational and inspirational, Explore offers a portal for public viewing of live video and live webcams at
About the National Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks, through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community, at
About the National Park Trust
The National Park Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation's critical parks and public lands and the engagement of our youth – especially those who are underserved – with nature. To learn more, visit National Park Trust.
About the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation established the Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust in 2005 to increase ocean awareness and stewardship through innovative programs, partnerships, and initiatives. The grant honors former U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings for his role as a lifelong ocean advocate. For more information, visit National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
For more information visit: Social Science web page

Last updated: March 13, 2017

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