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Contact: Thomas E. Ross, 973-736-0550 x27West Orange, NJ - As the National Park Service embarks on its second century of service, Thomas Edison National Historical Park is celebrating the significant accomplishments of its centennial celebration and engagement with the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu parque initiative.
We are proud to announce that Thomas Edison National Historical Park recorded 57,694 visits in 2016, its best visitation year since the Laboratory’s grand re-opening in 2009-10 after the completion of a $15M rehabilitation, when 63,009 visitors came through our doors. Superintendent Tom Ross credited the increased visitation to the Find Your Park national marketing campaign and centennial programming at the park. Ross said “we owe a great deal of appreciation to our community partners who collaborated in offering a broad array of new and diverse programs which met our goal of increasing and diversifying our visitors to the park.”
This trend occurred across the country where centennial programs resulted in a significant level of public interest and social media engagement with the National Park Service (NPS) and National Park Foundation (NPF). The NPS, NPF, and partners across the nation reached hundreds of millions of people with the centennial’s Find Your Park message, and engaged the public in the NPS stewardship mission.
“Stunning,” Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds said of the 331 million visits counted across the National Park System. “We expected more visitors in 2016 as the NPS celebrated its Centennial with special events and activities, but these numbers really show the depth of feeling people have for their national parks, especially considering that increased visitation was recorded not just at the biggest and best known parks but at smaller historical and cultural sites as well.”
Half of national park visitation happened in 26 parks but visitation growth from 2015 to 2016 was greater, by 13 percent to 9 percent, in parks that see more modest annual visitation. “That shows the breadth of support for parks and, I think,” Reynolds said, “the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque campaign launched with the National Park Foundation reached new audiences but also highlighted what we might call lesser-known parks.”
Planning is underway to build on the success of Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque as the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and other partners will continue the campaign’s momentum in 2017. The Find Your Park movement will continue to engage new audiences, especially around significant moments, including National Park Week (April 16-24) and the NPS 101st birthday on August 25th. Throughout the year, the NPS and its partners will invite the public to explore parks they haven’t yet discovered, build personal connections to special places in their communities, and find ways to help ensure that future generations are able to fully experience their national parks and the NPS programs that steward America’s treasures.
For more information about visitation, please go to the National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics web page at https://irma.nps.gov/stats/.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a National Park Service site dedicated to promoting an international understanding and appreciation of the life and extraordinary achievements of Thomas Alva Edison by preserving, protecting, and interpreting the Park’s extensive historic artifact and archive collections at the Edison Laboratory Complex and Glenmont, the Edison family estate. The Visitor Center is located at 211 Main Street in West Orange, New Jersey. For hours of operation and more information call 973-736-0550 ext. 11 or visit: www.nps.gov/edis