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Richmond, Va. – The National Park Service is turning 99 years old on August 25 and Richmond National Battlefield Park and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site want you to join the party! Come to the park and attend some of our special programs that day. The lineup of activities will highlight the variety of work that the park staff does, and allow visitors a peek behind the scenes. No reservations are needed and all programs are free.
Join the park’s resource manager for a special walking tour at Cold Harbor battlefield, focused on natural resources and how the park maintains and inventories them. Meet at the visitor center at 2:00 p.m. Wear good walking shoes and bring water and bug spray. (5515 Anderson Wright Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111)
At the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, visitors can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the park’s artifact collection with the curator. Tours will run every half hour from 10-12. Meet at the visitor center (600 North Second Street, Richmond VA 23219). The Maggie L. Walker house will also be open for tours.
Enjoy lunch with a ranger at Historic Tredegar from 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Bring a brown bag lunch and take part in an informal discussion about recent battlefield preservation around Richmond and how the park plans to make these treasures more accessible to the American people. Meet at the picnic tables behind the Pattern Building at Tredegar (470 Tredegar Street, Richmond, VA 23219)
Learn the latest on the restoration of the 18thcentury Shelton farm home known as Rural Plains, and experience historic preservation firsthand with a National Park Service preservation specialist who will be available to explain the ongoing restoration work and recent discoveries at the history-laden building. Meet staff at Rural Plains from 1:00- 4:00 p.m. (7273 Studley Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116)
In preparation for next year’s big centennial celebration, the National Park Service is inviting everyone to Find Your Park. To encourage people to discover everything a park experience can be, there is a fun list of 99 ways to Find Your Park. Richmond National Battlefield Park is a great place to try #92 – wander an American battlefield. At Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, follow the footsteps of a woman who made history, which is item #45 on the list. Visitors can share their park experiences with others by posting on social media with the hashtag #FindYourPark.
“Our birthday is a wonderful opportunity for people to discover the two great National Park sites in Richmond,” said park superintendent David Ruth. “The parks offer something for everyone, so I invite you to visit and Find Your Park."
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to create the National Park Service. Today, there are 408 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn. And, on August 25, all national parks will offer free entrance for everyone.
Richmond National Battlefield Park was established in 1936 to preserve American Civil War sites around Richmond. Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site was established in 1978 to tell the story of the community icon, civil rights leader and bank president. Last year, 188,597 park visitors enjoyed the sites and added more than $14 million to the local economy, supporting 173 area jobs.
The mission of the National Park Service also extends beyond park boundaries. Community partnerships help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. To see what is happening in Virginia, go to www.nps.gov/VA.