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Contact: Mindi Rambo, 212-668-2208
Contact: Darren Boch, 212-668-2251
Experience Your National Parks: National Park Week
April 16-24, 2011
Each year the National Park Service (NPS) takes a week in April to highlight the beauty, history and opportunities its nearly 400 units offer. This year's focus, Healthy Parks, Healthy People, highlights the connection between human and environmental health and the vital role America's national parks play in both. Activities at each park in the New York City metropolitan area will highlight the history of the National Park Service and opportunities of both visitor and residents to experience some of the country’s most intriguing urban national parks. Scheduled activities are subject to change.
African Burial Ground National Monument
290 Broadway, Manhattan
A full slate of activities for National Park Week is planned at African Burial National Monument. On April 19 and 23, the site will offer children the chance to decorate a Family Memory Box for keeping photographs and mementos. Take a walking tour on April 20 at 2 p.m. and learn about Abolitionists in New York. The site’s popular film series is back April 21 and 22 with showings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. both days. The site will celebrate Junior Rangers with special activities on April 23, including: arts & crafts from Noon to 1 p.m., Our Story Through Dance at 1 p.m., which highlights the importance of dance to Africans and African-Americans in New York, and a Junior Ranger ceremony at 2:30 p.m.
Federal Hall National Memorial
26Wall Street, Manhattan
Federal Hall National Memorial plans to celebrate National Park Week with a variety of special programming, including daily talks on the history of the NPS and what it means to be an NPS Ranger. Additionally, an NPS Ranger will read a short story appropriate for young children at 1 p.m. Monday, April 18 and Thursday, April 21. Following the reading, children will be encouraged to talk about the story and what they think about it. Reservations recommended. Please call 212-825-6990. A special Earth Day presentation on recycling, conservation and preservation of our natural resources is scheduled for 11 a.m., Thursday, April 21. Also planned is a Junior Ranger Walking tour starting at Castle Clinton N.M. in Battery Park, proceeding to Federal Hall N.M and concluding at African Burial Ground. This is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 20 and Friday, April 22. Reservations required. Please call 212-825-6990. All children will be able to earn a Junior Ranger badge and special patch throughout the week.
Gateway National Recreation Area
Jamaica Bay, Staten Island and Sandy Hook, NJ
Gateway National Recreation Area has activities planned at each of its three units (Jamaica Bay, Staten Island, Sandy Hook, NJ) for National Park Week. Visitors can try their hand at Kayak Fishing at Jamaica Bay, April 16 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or partake in a clean-up event either Friday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to noon starting at the Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge east parking lot or April 23 from 9 a.m. to noon starting at the Rockaway Point Yacht Club. For a complete list of activities, visit https://www.nps.gov/gate/planyourvisit/this-week-at-gateway-nra.htm .
General Grant National Memorial
122nd and Riverside Avenue, Manhattan
Meet a National Park Service Ranger in the outdoor plaza in front of the memorial for an afterhours visit by candlelight deep into the heart of the mausoleum as part of the sites observance of National Park Week 2011. This is not an ordinary tour of the memorial, but a unique opportunity to experience the essence of the monument
This year’s tour is made even more special by the 150th anniversary observance of the Civil War (2011-15), which offers the current generation of Americans the opportunity to understand, discuss and commemorate this country’s greatest national crisis, while exploring its enduring relevance in the 21st century. The NPS is the steward of more than 100 battlefields, historic homes and other original sites associated with the war and the resulting struggle for Civil Rights, including General Grant National Memorial. This responsibility uniquely positions the NPS to lead the commemoration of America’s most defining national struggle and the impact of that struggle on present day America.
Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site
897 South Columbus Avenue, Mt. Vernon, NY
St. Paul’s Church is offering its popular Church Tower Walk during National Park Week. Join a member of the park’s staff at 3 p.m. on April 22 and climb the wooden staircase in the Church tower, leading to the historic, 250-year-old metal bell, one of the oldest in the country. Children are invited to complete a series of activities and become official Junior Rangers.
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
28 East 20th Street, Manhattan
James Foote, a renowned Theodore Roosevelt re-enactor, is scheduled to give a presentation of “The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt” in the auditorium of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS at 2 p.m. April 16. The one-hour program is free and will recount events from the lifetime of Roosevelt, from his days as the sickly child to his life as a rancher, naturalist and noted outdoorsman, to his meteoric rise to become the 26thand youngest president of the U.S. Following the presentation, an open-house tour of the home is planned. Seating is limited and by reservation only. Call 212-260-1616 and speak to a ranger. Voicemail reservations will not be accepted.