Olympic National Park to Host "An Evening in the Olympics"
Over 900 people attended "An Evening in Olympics," a special community event hosted by Olympic National Park on September 15. The free event included traditional songs and dances shared by the Klallam Dance Group, a presentation by noted Olympic Peninsula photographer Ross Hamilton, preview screenings of two "Northwest Stories" mini-documentaries about Olympic produced by Seattle PBS affiliate KCTS 9, and a screening of "The National Parks: This is America." Co-hosting the event were several of the park's partner groups, including the Friends of Olympic National Park, the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Discover Your Northwest and Washington's National Park Fund. Port Angeles is a small city of 20,000 inhabitants; audiences of this size are rare.
On Tuesday, September 15, Olympic National Park will host “An Evening in the Olympics,” beginning at 7 p.m. in the Port Angeles High School auditorium. The event will feature a screening of “The National Parks: This is America,” an introduction to the new Ken Burns documentary about the national parks, as well as a performance by the Klallam Dance Group and a presentation by noted Sequim photographer Ross Hamilton.
Burns’ documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” tracks the history of the national park system, from its roots in the 1800s to its founding in 1916 to visitor experiences today. The film will present the national parks through the eyes of a diverse group of individuals and comment on the system’s place in the fabric of the country.
The area that is now Olympic National Park first came under federal protection when President Grover Cleveland designated most of the Olympic Peninsula's forested land as the Olympic Forest Reserve in 1897. President Theodore Roosevelt enhanced this by designating part of the reserve as Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909, in large part to protect the native herds of Roosevelt elk. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Olympic as a national park in 1938, cementing its status as a protected area for a diverse array of plants and wildlife.
--Matthew Connolly, Intern