National Park Week is a week for celebration and recognition of your National Parks. National Park Week usually coincides with Earth Day (April 22). For 2017, National Park Week was observed from Saturday, April 15 through Sunday, April 23.
National Volunteer Week honors the individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities. For 2017, National Volunteer Week was observed from Sunday, April 23 through Saturday, April 29.
Earth Day began when a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, called for an environmental teach-in in 1969, which was inspired by the teach-ins dealing with the Vietnam War. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and drew an estimated 20 million participants. Tens of thousands of people filled New York's Fifth Avenue, Congress adjourned so members could speak across the nation, and at least 2,000 colleges marked the occasion. American Heritage Magazine called the first Earth Day "one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy." Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 174 countries by over a half billion people, making it the most celebrated secular holiday in the world, a day on which people get outdoors, plant trees, clean up trash and lobby for the environment.
Your National Parks are living examples of the best this nation has to offer—our magnificent natural landscapes and our varied yet interrelated heritage. Parks can provide recreational experiences, opportunities to learn and grow, and places of quiet refuge.
This year, take a moment, an hour, a day to visit the national parks near you.
While entrance to Point Reyes National Seashore is always free, during National Park Week 2017—April 15–23, 2017—entrance to all National Park Service sites was free. The National Park Service also offers a number of other fee-free days throughout the year.
As part of our National Volunteer Week, Earth Day, and National Park Week celebration in 2017, Point Reyes National Seashore hosted or participated in a variety of activities throughout the week prior to and after Earth Day to promote sustainability, to raise environmental awareness, and to discuss actions we can take to help reduce our environmental footprint. The weeks' scheduled activities included:
Experience Gray Whales Date: Saturday, April 15; Sunday, April 16; Saturday, April 22; Sunday, April 23; Saturday, April 29; and Sunday, April 30 Time: 11 am to 4:30 pm Location: Point Reyes Lighthouse Observation Deck Description: Volunteer docents were stationed at the Lighthouse Observation Deck to answer questions about gray whales. Visitors were able to view gray whales through park-provided binoculars and scopes.
Journey of the Whales Date: Saturday, April 15; Sunday, April 16; Saturday, April 22; Sunday, April 23; Saturday, April 29; and Sunday, April 30 Time: 1:30 pm Location: Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Description: Visitors were invited to join a Ranger to learn about gray whales as they migrate past Point Reyes. Visitors had the opportunity to learn about the whales' habits and adaptations, and hoped for a whale sighting from the Observation Deck. Program lasted 30 minutes. This program was given out-of-doors. Visitors were encouraged to come prepared for windy, cold, and damp weather.
Ranger's Choice Programs Date: Daily from Saturday, April 15 through Sunday, April 23; and Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 Time: 1:30 pm Location: Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Description: Visitors were invited to join a Park Ranger to learn more about Point Reyes National Seashore's natural and cultural history. Topics may cover earthquakes and plate tectonics, the Coast Miwok, Sir Francis Drake, the U.S. Lifesaving Service, or area flora and fauna. Some presentations used the park's Science On a Sphere® to help explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.
Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Day Date: Tuesday, April 18 Time: 10 am–1 pm Location: Picnic tables across from Bear Valley Visitor Center. Description: Green thumbs and gardening novices were invited to help plant grass seeds and transplant seedlings on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, to supply our restoration activities in the park. Volunteers worked from 10 am to 1 pm, with a lunch break during this time. Volunteers were encouraged to bring weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty, water, and food for lunch and snacks.
Third Thursday Weeders Volunteering Date: Thursday, April 20 Time: 9:30 am–1:30 pm Description: The public was invited to join the Third Thursday Weeders on Thursday, April 20, 2017, to help remove invasive plants. Volunteers worked from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, with a lunch break during this time. Volunteers were encouraged to bring warm and wind-stopping layers, rain gear if the forecast warrants it, water, snacks, clothes that can get dirty, and food for lunch and snacks. Tools and gloves were provided.
Electronic Waste (e-waste) Recycling Collection Date: Friday, April 21, 2017 Time: 10 am to 1 pm Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot Description: On Friday, April 21, at the Bear Valley Visitor Center, from 10 am to 1 pm, Point Reyes National Seashore hosted an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling collection, joining thousands of local organizers holding recycling and other events across the country to celebrate Earth Day, the only nationally and globally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating planet Earth and the protection of its resources.
Please note the following items were accepted:
All computers and related accessories and peripherals
Small printers, scanners, and faxes
Wires, cables, and power cords
Printer toner and inkjet cartridges
Cell phones, PDAs, and telephones
Small kitchen appliances
VHS, cassette, 8-Track tapes
The following items will NOT be accepted:
Dry cell batteries (AA, AAA, D, etc.)
Light bulbs of any kind
Large household appliances such as refrigerators and stoves
Commercial copy machines
All e-waste was taken to Renew Computers in San Rafael, California, for recycling.
Yoga and Dune Restoration Date: Saturday, April 22 Time: 9:30 am to 2:30 pm Location: "Antenna Farm" Wayside (Map) Description: Visitors were invited to spend Earth Day at the beautiful and scenic Abbotts Lagoon in Point Reyes, where many plants were in spring bloom. Participants helped the dune restoration team remove European searocket, an invasive plant that is threatening a thriving patch of Tidestrom's lupine (a federally endangered species). After a lunch break during which participants watched the crashing waves, they were able to spend about 30–45 minutes doing yoga on the beach with the well traveled and certified Yoga Instructor Diana May Oppenheim. Work gloves and tools were provided.
Earth Day Limantour Beach Cleanup Date: Saturday, April 22 Time: 11 am to 2 pm Location: Limantour Beach Description: Visitors were invited to join Point Reyes in service and celebrate Earth Day with a beach cleanup at Limantour Beach. The high tides and inclement weather of the winter had brought a lot of litter to Point Reyes Beaches. Nesting snowy plovers benefited from the efforts made by those who participated in the beach clean up.
Marin MPA Watch Volunteer Training Date: Saturday, April 22 Time: 11 am to 2 pm Location: Limantour Beach Description: Visitors were invited to join the Marin MPA team at Limantour Beach for a field training. The training included an overview of Marine Protected Areas (MPA), why MPAs are important, MPA Watch program details, data collection methods, and a walk along the survey transect as a group. Training was open to new volunteers and existing MPA Watch volunteers looking to learn a new beach transect. The Volunteer Training at Limantour Beach involved a five-mile walk.
Point Reyes Instameet at Limantour Beach Date: Saturday, April 22 Time: 7 pm–9 pm Location: Limantour Beach. Description: Visitors were invited to join park rangers, photographers, and instagrammers at Limantour Beach on Saturday, April 22, 2017, starting at 7 pm for a beach walk in celebration of Earth Day and National Park Week! Participants met rangers by the bridge between the parking lot and the beach and were encouraged to bring warm layers, a camera, a flashlight for the walk back to the parking lot, and their creativity! Participants were encouraged to use the tag #PointReyesInstameet to share their experience on social media!
(415) 464-5100 This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.