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Contact: Media Contact: Bill Nalevanko, 570-241-8258
SCRANTON, PA - As the National Park Service embarks on its second century of service, Steamtown National Historic Site is celebrating the significant accomplishments of its centennial celebration and engagement with the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque initiative.
“During our Centennial year, one goal was to increase visitation to Steamtown NHS. We achieved this goal by recording an 11.2% increase in recreational visits from 89,593 in 2015 to 99,660 during 2016. We attribute the increase to the return of the Baldwin #26 steam locomotive to operating service in April 2016 and the NPS Centennial,” noted Superintendent Debbie Conway.
Steamtown NHS Programs Contributed to Overall Success of the NPS Centennial
Across the country, centennial programs resulted in a significant level of public interest and social media engagement with the National Park Service and National Park Foundation. The NPS, NPF, and partners nationwide reached hundreds of millions of people with the centennial’s Find Your Park message, and engaged the public in the NPS stewardship mission.
“Stunning,” Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds said of the 331 million visits counted across the National Park System. “We expected more visitors in 2016 as the NPS celebrated its Centennial with special events and activities, but these numbers really show the depth of feeling people have for their national parks, especially considering that increased visitation was recorded not just at the biggest and best known parks but at smaller historical and cultural sites as well.”
Half of national park visitation happened in 26 parks but visitation growth from 2015 to 2016 was greater, by 13 percent to 9 percent, in parks that see more modest annual visitation. “That shows the breadth of support for parks and, I think,” Reynolds said, “the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque campaign launched with the National Park Foundation reached new audiences but also highlighted what we might call lesser-known parks.”
Looking Ahead: Find Your Park in 2017 and Preparing for a Second Century of Service
Planning is underway to build on the success of Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque as the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and other partners will continue the campaign’s momentum in 2017. The Find Your Park movement will continue to engage new audiences, especially around significant moments, including National Park Week in April and the NPS 101st birthday in August. Throughout the year, the NPS and its partners will invite the public to explore parks they haven’t yet discovered, build personal connections to special places in their communities, and find ways to help ensure that future generations are able to fully experience their national parks and the NPS programs that steward America’s treasures.
For more information about visitation, please go to the National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics web page at https://irma.nps.gov/stats/.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pa., Steamtown NHS is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; regular park hours, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, return on Sunday, April 2. From I-81 follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then, follow the brown and white signs to the park entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues (GPS: N 41.41, W 75.67). General park information is available by phoning (570) 340-5204 during regular business hours, or by visiting the park website anytime.