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Contact: Allison Powell, 440-546-5994
Brecksville, Ohio –Cuyahoga Valley National Park is inviting everybody to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial with more than 100 things to do –special concerts, picnics, and train rides, plus everyday activities like hiking, biking and more.
"It's a great time to showcase all that the National Park Service offers and introduce this park to the next generation," says Craig Kenkel, superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. "We're thrilled to host national events connected to the centennial and offer locally created, collaborative activities."
The six marquee events include:
·May 20-21–National Geographic BioBlitz and BioDiversity Festival–CVNP is the midwest showcase site for the 24-hour national event to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi and other organisms as possible. Findings will be shared live on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Locally, CVNP also will host a festival for celebration and learning about all that is found in nature.
·June 18–Picnic in The National Park–Dine outdoors in your national park the same day as millions of others around the country. Countryside, a private nonprofit supporter of CVNP, will sell special centennial picnic baskets and bags at its weekly Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow. It also will provide special maps so picnickers can find their special spot.
·July 17–The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center–Enjoy music to celebrate the NPS centennial as performed by the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. As part of the orchestra's annual series at its summer home, Blossom Music Festival, the concert will include Aaron Copland's Suite from Appalachian Spring. The Conservancy for CVNP will announce additional on-site activities at a later date.
·July 29-30–American Solar Challenge–The solar-powered car world gathers in Cuyahoga Valley National Park to begin an 1,800-mile, eight-day race that stops at eight national park sites along the way before ending in South Dakota. Gather at the pre-race sustainability fairJuly 29at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, and the next day assemble to cheer at the starting line.
·August 20-21–Party in The National Park: Happy 100th National Park Service–Volunteer for Founders' Day of Service, picnic in the park with locally created Countryside baskets, enjoy an outdoor concert with a special performance by the Singing Angels, take a ride on Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and experience all the national park has to offer.
·Nov. 4–Akron Symphony Orchestra and CVNP Collaboration–Listen to the talented musicians of the Akron Symphony Orchestra while experiencing a visual montage from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron.
CVNP visitors also can participate on other activities, from riding on the new mountain bike trail totaking a leisurely stroll on the Towpath Trail. Whether learning about the history of the park at Boston Store Visitor Center or Canal Exploration Center or tapping your toes at Happy Days Lodge for one of the music series hosted by the Conservancy, visitors will find something to do that fits their interests.
All visitors are encouraged to share their CVNP experiences through the national Find Your Park campaign by using the hashtag #FindYourPark and #CVNP on their social media channels or detailing their story in words or images at www.FindYourPark.com.
A special centennial opportunity for fourth graders
The National Park Service introduced a new program, Every Kid in a Park, as part of the centennial celebration. Fourth graders can earn a pass that provides free access for themselves and their families to all federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. The pass is valid throughAugust 31, 2016.
While Cuyahoga Valley National Park doesn't charge an admission fee, students can earn their national pass locally. Fourth graders need to complete an online activity, print a voucher, and redeem at it Boston Store Visitor Center. Details can be found: www.everykidinapark.gov. Children with the pass can ride free with an adult purchase on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
About Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. It generates over 2.1 million visits and an economic impact of $190 million annually. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cuva.
About Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a non-profit organization created to engage public support for the park and provide services to enhance public use and enjoyment of the park. For more information about the Conservancy and its programs, visit www.forCVNP.org.
About Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a non-profit organization that operates the excursion train through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in cooperation with the National Park Service. For more information, visit www.cvsr.com.
About Countryside Conservancy
Countryside Conservancy connects people, food, and land. It manages three thriving farmers' markets, offers food and farm educational programming, and through a unique partnership with Cuyahoga Valley National Park, reestablished the farming in the park with the Countryside Initiative program. To learn more, visit www.cvcountryside.org.
CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information visit www.nps.gov/cuva or call 330-657-2752.
To download a pdf version of this news release, click here.