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April 16-24 is National Park Week, an annual celebration that is special this year as the National Park Service marks its 100th year. The National Park Service is about making great connections, exploring amazing places, and discovering open spaces. Writer and historian, Wallace Stegner called our national parks "the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst." All national park entrance fees will be waived for the entire week of April 16-24.
Locally, Scotts Bluff National Monument will celebrate National Park Week with the following events, and you're invited!
To get things started, Scotts Bluff National Monument will host an early Earth Day celebration, The Monumental Clean Up, on Friday, April 15. Volunteers are invited to join the park staff from 9:00 a.m. to on Friday, April 15 to do a little spring cleaning. This year, participants will work with Rangers to help remove graffiti and help park staff with roadside litter clean up.Volunteers will meet park staff at the visitor center at 9:00 a.m. and should be dressed in long pants and sturdy shoes. Gloves, water and snacks will be available. There will be no entrance fees charged for volunteers and their families assisting with the Monumental Clean Up.
Ever wondered what it would be like to run up the bluff? Spring Up the Bluff will take place on Saturday, April 16 at 8:00 a.m. Bring five of your friends or family members for a fun relay up the summit road. The relay race is organized and sponsored by NEXT Young Professionals. Each team may be composed of one to six members with running and walking divisions and three age categories. Teams may be comprised of all male, all female or mixed genders. Participants may register online at www.bluffrun.eventbrite.com or on race day at 7:30 a.m. The summit road will open to vehicles once all participants are finished and off the road.
National Junior Ranger Day falls on April 16 this year. There are special Centennial Junior Ranger Activity Books and badges in addition to the Scotts Bluff National Monument Junior Ranger, Junior Paleontologist and Junior Ranger Night Explorer programs. Aspiring rangers will visit with pioneers, explore the historic trails and discover secrets of the sun along with other activities while working on the booklets.
The annual "An Artist's Perception" Art Show will kick off on Sunday, April 17.Regional artists from the North Platte Valley Artist Guild will display examples of their art work in various media at the Scotts Bluff National Monument Visitor Center from April 17 through May 8, 2016.
The artwork will showcase the scenery and the natural and cultural history of the area. The artists will be honored at a reception sponsored by the Oregon Trail Museum Association on Sunday, April 17 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.Please join us for the celebration and vote for your favorite artwork.
For further information regarding National Park Week events and the National Park Service Centennial please check the National Monument's web page at www.nps.gov/scbl, or call the Visitor Center at 308-436-9700.The Scotts Bluff National Monument Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. until The summit road is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.