WASHINGTON: Join in the fun of National Park Week 2011. Historic
reenactments, gushing waterfalls, abundant wildlife, blooming wildflowers,
and free admission make it the perfect time to get outside and enjoy a
“National Park Week is a great time to visit and celebrate these places
owned by all Americans,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B.
Jarvis. “With 394 to choose from, you can find a national park for just
about every interest, from battlefields commemorating the 150th anniversary
of the Civil War to great urban parks like Gateway and Golden Gate to
gorgeous landscapes like Acadia or Mount Rainier where you can experience
nature and all it has to offer. There is no better place than a national
park to exercise, have fun, or learn something.”
Healthy Parks, Healthy People, the theme of National Park Week, highlights
the connection between human and environmental health and the vital role
America’s national parks play in both. President Barack Obama in his
National Park Week proclamation states, “During National Park Week, we
reaffirm our need to maintain connections to the natural world. Whether on
the open range or in the heart of a bustling city, each of us can work to
conserve our lands and reinforce the importance of setting aside beautiful
places for inspiration, relaxation, and recreation for all people.”
The President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative is part of a growing
movement to encourage an increasingly sedentary society to get up, get out,
and connect with the outdoor world. National parks provide close to home
opportunities to paddle, pedal, play, hike, stroll, or simply unwind.
Throughout National Park Week, parks will host an amazing variety of
concerts, demonstrations, tours, ranger-led hikes, and discovery walks.
Children’s programs will take center stage on Saturday, April 23, for the
fifth annual National Junior Ranger Day. Fun, healthy, family-friendly
activities will encourage kids to “Let’s Move Outside!” Check out
www.nps.gov/npweek to find an event where kids can participate in hands-on
activities and earn a commemorative patch.
The other fee-free days scheduled for 2011 are June 21 (the first day of
summer), September 24 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11-13
(Veterans Day Weekend).