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Contact: Jeff Wolin, (719) 748-3253
WASHINGTON -- As the National Park Service embarks on its second century of service, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is celebrating the significant accomplishments of its Centennial celebration and engagement with the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque initiative.
Over 72,000 visitors experienced Florissant Fossil Beds in 2016, which is the highest visitation since 2001. Successful programs such as monthly star parties and summertime yoga hikes continued to draw many local area residents to the Monument. In August, the Monument celebrated the birthday of the National Park Service (NPS) with a visit from Teddy Roosevelt, cake, and a special appearance by a black bear (unplanned). In late August, Florissant Fossil Beds hosted a weekend celebration called Paint Your Park Plein Aire Festival and Art Sale which drew over 1,000 visitors. Throughout 2016, efforts continued to reach youth audiences with over 4,000 kids becoming Junior Rangers and over 3,500 local area students visiting on field trips. In December, the 2016 Lighter Side of Christmas Parade (LSOC) in Woodland Park, CO was themed Rockin’ Around Your Favorite Park in honor of the NPS’s Centennial and the 125th Anniversary of Woodland Park. The Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds was chosen by the LSOC committee as the Lighter Side of Christmas parade fundraiser beneficiary. Together with the assistance from local businesses, the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds and LSOC committee raised over $12,000 to support Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Programs Contributed to Overall Success of the NPS Centennial Across the Country.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument’s 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 nationwide reached hundreds of millions of people with the centennial’s Find Your Park message, and engaged the public in the NPS stewardship mission. The Find Your Park campaign has resonated particularly well with younger audiences, which NPS and NPF targeted since they will be the next generation of national park visitors and stewards. Millennials are increasingly familiar with the Find Your Park campaign, and NPS youth programs were a key component of NPS and NPF centennial engagement. “I like to say the NPS is the only federal agency with a mandate to ensure the public has fun, and the centennial has been a lot of fun,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “But more importantly, it has inspired and engaged a new generation to take on the mantle of responsibility for the most important places and stories that define us as citizens of the United States of America.”
Looking Ahead: Find Your Park in 2017 and Preparing for a Second Century of Service
Planning is underway to build on the success of Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque as the NPS, the NPF, 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 in April and the NPS 101st birthday in August.
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.
More information about the success and long term legacy of the NPS Centennial is available online here: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/success.htm.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument offers 15 miles of beautiful, yet lesser known, hiking trails to explore, a free Junior Ranger Program, a park video and museum exhibits, and bookstore. For additional information, please call (719) 748-3253 or visit our website: www.nps.gov/flfo or on Facebook at /FlorissantNPS
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.