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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Mary Plumb, 305-242-7017
The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016 and Everglades National Park is inviting everyone to a kick-off event being held at Shark Valley on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Everglades Superintendent Pedro Ramos will officially launch the Centennial celebration at the Shark Valley Visitor Center starting at 4:00 p.m., followed by an opportunity to meet him personally. The event also features an art exhibit by Robert Chaplin, and showcases plans for Shark Valley’s new visitor center exhibits. Shark Valley entrance fees will be waived starting at 3:30 p.m.
Immediately following the park’s centennial kickoff, the South Florida National Parks Trust is offering a special “Everglades After Dark” tram tour and dinner. Special evening trams will depart from the visitor center starting at 5:00 p.m. Reservations are required; for information visit https://evergladesafterdark.eventbrite.com or call 305.665.4769.
“This is the perfect time for everyone to ‘Find Your Park’,” said Pedro Ramos, Superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks. “We hope to inspire our park neighbors and visitors to come and enjoy their wonderful parks that are right here in their backyard. National parks are fun and affordable destinations with amazing recreational opportunities, and we would like for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks to be at the top of your list when you ‘Find Your Park!” said Superintendent Ramos.
Everglades National Park and its partners have developed several recreational activities inspired by the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. These healthy and fun Centennial Challenges can be completed any time in 2016:
Centennial Challenge at Shark Valley. Shark Valley Tram Tours will track and recognize bikers who ride 100 miles (to celebrate 100 years) or hike 10 miles (to celebrate 10 decades) at Shark Valley during the centennial year. Prizes and incentives like shirts, hats, water bottles and an annual pass are the reward for completing the challenge. Sign in at the Shark Valley Visitor Center to start the Challenge. For more information: http://www.sharkvalleytramtours.com/centennialchallenge.html
National Park Centennial Triathlon Challenge. This challenge encourages people to complete at least 33 miles of hiking, 33 miles of paddling, and 33 miles of biking, in at least two of the four National Parks in south Florida during 2016. For details, pick up your special National Parks Centennial Triathlon Challenge Passport book at any park visitor center in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park or Dry Tortugas National Park.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley: Celebrate the National Parks Centennial by riding the free National Parks Trolley from Homestead every Saturday and Sunday through May 1, 2016. You can board the National Parks Trolley at Losner Park in Historic Downtown Homestead, 104 N. Krome Avenue, and ride it to Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, and Homestead Bayfront Park. The trolley connects to bus routes from Miami-Dade County public transportation. For more information please visit: www.cityofhomestead.com/gateway or call (305) 224-4457.
The National Park Service invites you to share your own park experiences at www.FindYourPark.com under “Share Your Story,” or hashtag #FindYourPark on your own social media to join the conversation.