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SCRANTON, PA - Steamtown National Historic Site (NHS) in downtown Scranton welcomes visitors to celebrate National Park Week, April 21-29, 2018, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm daily.
The theme for National Park Week 2018 is “Park Stars,” celebrating everything from starry skies to superstar volunteers, park features, and resources. Parks, programs, and partners nationwide invite people everywhere to explore stories, experiences, and sites that brighten the National Park System and public lands.
Come to Steamtown NHS any time during National Park Week (or throughout the year) and be a “Star” by taking a selfie with a real Disney movie star, our own Berlin Mills Railway locomotive No. 7, which was featured in “Summer Magic” along with Hayley Mills and Burl Ives!
Our free National Park Week activities kick off on Saturday, April 21, with National Junior Ranger Day. “Explore, Learn, and Protect” by joining us to inaugurate our newest Junior Ranger program for ages 13 to 130! With existing Steamtown NHS Junior Ranger programs for Ages 5 and Under, Ages 6 to 8, and Ages 9 to 12, now the entire family can enjoy a day of exploration at the park and all can become official Junior Rangers!
April 21 and 22 close out National Volunteer Week. Steamtown NHS thanks its hundreds of “stellar” volunteers who help us ensure great visitor experiences. Our volunteers do everything from greeting visitors to transcribing historical records in our archives to operating our steam and diesel locomotives! Consider becoming a Steamtown “Star,” also known as National Park Service VIPs. Many of our volunteer opportunities can be found on Volunteer.gov – the variety of positions might surprise you.
April 21 is a busy day as we also kick off our railroad operating season. For a nominal $5 fee, enjoy a short train ride on some of our historic railroad equipment, pulled by Baldwin Locomotive Works steam engine No. 26 (motive power is subject to change). We plan to offer these short rides on Apr 21-22 and Apr 27-29. Check for specific times when you arrive at the park.
In concert with the beginning of our railroad operating season, we will be offering Operation Lifesaver programs daily during National Park Week. Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad property through educating people about rail safety. While such grade crossing and trespassing incidents have been cut in half over the past twenty years, there are still too many unnecessary deaths and injuries that can be prevented through education and public awareness.
And finally, don’t miss National ParkRx Day, which runs from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm on Sunday, April 29. This community health fair and outdoor expo day of fun and learning is just what the doctor prescribed! We’re partnering with more than a dozen local organizations that will help you get outdoors and active this spring, summer, and fall. In particular, Geisinger Health System will have sports medicine specialists on hand to answer your questions, Dr. Michael Suk will speak on important Geisinger initiatives, and our local medical school students will be offering some basic health screenings. Additionally, the American Red Cross plans to have one of its disaster relief vehicles on hand for visitor inspection. And besides many outdoor groups who host activities for people of varying fitness levels, we’ll have Master Gardeners and Folk’s Butterfly Farm sharing how you can get outdoors in your own backyard and create gardens that help pollinators such as butterflies and bees, to thrive. They are a vital link in sustaining our own food chain.
So be a “Star” and join us for National Park Week (April 21-29) and National ParkRx Day (April 29). For more information about these free events, call the Steamtown NHS Visitor Center at 570-340-5206, and visit our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.