Western PA National Parks Invite Everyone to #FindYourPark during the Centennial Birthday Weekend

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Date: August 24, 2016
Contact: MaryEllen Snyder, 724-329-8131

Farmington, PA –The National Park Service invites visitors of all ages to join in the celebration of its 100thbirthday this weekend. With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28, the NPS is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque for the centennial. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

To make it easier for visitors to #FindYourPark entrance fees will be waived nationwide including at the three Western PA National Park Sites that charge an entrance fee;this includes Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Johnstown Flood National Memorial and Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Flight 93 National Memorial and Friendship Hill NHS are fee-free year round. All entrance fees are waived from August 25 through August 28to encourage everyone to visit a nearby Park and celebrate the NPS 100thbirthday.  

August 25 through August 28–our birthday weekend –will be a nationwide celebration of national parks, and we're inviting everyone to the party,"said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.  "We like to think that we look pretty good for 100, and with so many events and activities to commemorate this milestone, we hope all Americans will join us to celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and inspiring history in our nation's parks and public lands. Whether it is in a distant state or in your own community, there are hundreds of ways and places to find your park!"

On Thursday August 25, to celebrate the NPS Birthday with a bang, Fort Necessity NB Rangers and volunteers will fire reproduction artillery pieces to commemorate the 100thBirthday of the National Park Service. These historic weapons demonstrations will take place at11:00 a.m.,1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.Friendship Hill NHS Rangers and volunteers will celebrate the creation of the National Park Service by offering special NPS Centennial themed guided tours of the Gallatin House throughout the day.

Flight 93 National Memorial Park Rangers will present the "Discovery Table" and other special NPS Centennial programs from10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.on Thursday,Saturday and Sunday in the Learning Center. The Children's Discovery Table helps younger visitors understand the story of Flight 93 and the Memorial that honors the passengers and crew through tangible objects. At all five Western PA National Park Service sites children are invited to celebrate the National Park Services 100thbirthday during the upcoming weekend by participating in free special Centennial Junior Ranger programs at each Park. Any Junior Ranger who completes all five of the National Parks of Western Pennsylvania Junior Ranger Programs will earn a special 2016 patch. To learn more check out Centennial Junior Ranger Program.

OnSaturday, August  27, at Johnstown Flood National Memorial there will be a free, special program, presented at7:00 pm in the Visitor Center Auditorium entitled "Evening on the Lake: Judge John W. Kephart's Connection to the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club."Susie Huber, of the Cambria County Historical Society, will discuss the papers of PA Supreme Court Justice John W. Kephart. Approximately 12 years after the Johnstown Flood of 1889, Kephart, a young lawyer was assigned to "wrap up" business at the site of the Clubhouse and grounds of the South Fork Fishing &Hunting Club. This presentation will include the opportunity for visitors to view never before displayed original Club records and new evidence as to the ownership of the cottages on grounds.

To continue the national park adventure beyond these entrance fee free days, the $80America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 sites, including all national parks, throughout the year. There are also a variety of free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

About the Western PA National Parks: Visit the parks website Western PA National Parks, Facebook pages, email WEPAinformation@NPS.gov or call MaryEllen Snyder at 724-329-8131 for more information on the events planned in the five National Parks in Western PA.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 412 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us atwww.nps.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter at www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube at www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.


Last updated: August 24, 2016

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