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Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
Contact: Doug Lowthian, 218-283-6688
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN: The National Park Service, which has enabled millions to discover America's natural treasures, will commemorate 100 years of stewardship in 2016. The National Park Service's Centennial goal is to connect and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates.Minnesota's Voyageurs National Park, and its partner Voyageurs National Park Association (VNPA), will celebrate the Centennial locally with a range of special events, programs, and initiatives throughout the year.
"Voyageurs National Park is a Minnesota treasure enjoyed by locals and visitors from across the country," Congressman Rick Nolan said. "I'm encouraging people to venture north to Voyageurs during this year's National Park Service Centennial to discover the park's majestic beauty, and appreciate a special place that provides so many educational opportunities and experiences, and supports our northern Minnesota economy by bolstering our tourism industry."
Voyageurs National Park and its partners will focus on several project initiatives and special events.
- Cruiser Lake Trail Renovation: With $20,000 in matching support from Voyageurs National Park Association, the park will rehabilitate 7-miles of the Cruiser Lake Trail System, replacing boardwalks, leveling bridge sections, fixing signs, and clearing overgrown brush. The Cruiser Lake Trail has always been a wonderful way to experience wildlife, enjoy blueberries, and take in scenic lake views on the wild Kabetogama Peninsula –now we can make it safer and more accessible. Work will be completed in early 2016 making this summer's Centennial the perfect time to hike this marvelous part of Voyageur country.
- Wetlands Restoration: By combining private support from multiple partners with Federal Centennial Challenge Funds, the park will initiate the first phase of a large-scale wetland restoration at Voyageurs. Over the next several years, park staff will be working aggressively to remove invasive hybrid cattails in an effort to reestablish native plant species and provide critical habitat for waterfowl and fish.
- National Park Teen Ambassador Program: Our national parks are our greatest outdoor classrooms yet many youth lack the access and resources to experience them. The National Park Teen Ambassador program introduces a young and diverse audience to national park sites in Minnesota and sparks a love for conservation and the outdoors. With your help, the National Park Service, Voyageurs National Park Association, and Wilderness Inquiry will connect our 100th Minnesota high school student to Voyageurs this summer.
- Grand Opening of Rainy Lake Recreation Trail, June 11 - This open house style event at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center will include a community walk, interpretive experiences on the trail, North Canoe rides, special exhibits, and participation from the local amateur radio club in a "National Parks on the Air" program.
- Mark Herman National Parks Landmark Series. On April 18th, renowned landmark artist Mark Herman unveiled a new Voyageurs print series, the first of its kind to benefit National Parks. These five striking prints showcase the beauty of Voyageurs National Park. Numeric Press will donate 10% of the proceeds from the sales of these prints to Voyageurs National Park Association. The art was unveiled at Voyageurs National Park Association's Centennial Celebration at Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis. Over 200 people attended the event;guests had access to historical actors and Voyageurs National Park's staff with interactive opportunities to learn about the aviation program, wildlife research, aquatic biology, native plants, and archaeology. District 3A Representative Rob Ecklund and staff from both Senator Franken and Klobuchar's offices attended the event, along with National Park Service staff, outdoor enthusiasts, Voyageurs National Park Association's board of directors and members, business owners from the park's gateway communities, and event sponsors.
Supporters and nature lovers alike are invited to participate in special ranger-led hikes, paddles and boat tours at Voyageurs and more than a dozen Centennial events held at the park, in local communities and around the Twin Cities throughout the year. Event partners include REI, the Minnesota State Fair, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Minnesota sports teams, and gateway communities to shine a spotlight on our park. For more information, visit: http://voyageurs.org/centennial-events/
The Centennial marks the second consecutive year in which Voyageurs National Park is commemorating an important milestone. In 2015, the park marked 40 years since it was established in 1975.
About Voyageurs National Park
Located 300 miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul and stretching 55 miles across the border between Minnesota and Ontario, Voyageurs is one of the nation's wildest, most remote and unique national parks, and is widely loved for its beauty and recreational opportunities. Over 230,000 visitors explored Voyageurs in 2015, seeking inspiration, renewal and adventure in the park's untouched landscapes—from expansive lakes to hundreds of isolated islands, to the rugged cliffs and towering pines. The summer is prime season for boating, canoeing, camping, fishing and hiking, and in the winter the park is a choice destination for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and winter camping. The park's gateway communities include International Falls, Orr, Ranier, Rainy Lake, Crane Lake, Ash River and Kabetogama.