Special Events and Free Admission
With 417 parks across the country, plus national trails, rivers, heritage areas, and more, there are countless ways to celebrate the 101st birthday of the National Park Service. Many parks and programs are planning special events, including:
- Independence National Historical Park (Pa.) is hosting national park trivia at the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
- Agate Fossil Beds National Monument (Neb.) is offering a behind-the-scenes look at unusual items in the park’s collections.
- Obed Wild & Scenic River (Tenn.) will host an Art in the Park party for the birthday.
- Music-lovers can cap off their summer with free concerts at Gateway National Recreation Area (N.Y.) and Shiloh National Military Park (Tenn.).
Park entrance fees will be waived nationwide on August 25 to encourage everyone to celebrate the NPS 101st birthday. Usually, 118 of the 417 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30.The entrance fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
“From New York to Topeka to Honolulu and places in between, parks are in all corners of the United States and four U.S. territories,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “Our 101st birthday is the perfect time to explore parks and stories that may be new to you — whether it’s a park in your community or across the country.”
A Birthday Twist! Parks 101 in Haiku
Through social media, parks as well as NPS programs, partners, and the public are invited to share their own national park stories and experiences — and for the NPS 101st birthday there will be a special twist. Can you do it in haiku? Haiku is Japanese verse in three lines. Line one has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables, and line three has 5 syllables. Some fun examples include:
- New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
- Point Reyes National Seashore
- Manassas National Battlefield Park
The entire parks community is invited to share their creative inspirations via their favorite social media platforms and use #Parks101 in their posts.
As part of the celebration, the National Park Foundation, which will commemorate 50 years of being the national nonprofit partner to the National Park Service in December, also launched a Parks 101 content series, exploring lesser-known stories and experiences from America’s national parks.
An extension of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, Parks 101 marks the 101st year of the National Park Service.
Kicking off during National Park Week last April, some examples of the content include:
- Jordan Fisher, recording artist/actor and former star of the Broadway musical Hamilton, uncovering the lesser-known story of Alexander Hamilton’s life at Hamilton Grange National Memorial.
- U.S. Navy veteran and Paralympics swimmer Brad Snyder touring Monocacy National Battlefield to bring attention to lesser-known battlefield parks.
- Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Dawes touring parks that tell stories of equality in Washington, D.C., including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.
- Queen Sugar’s Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Rutina Wesley encouraging people to #FindYourPark through music and history from New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.
- Jordan Fisher returned to continue the series at Channel Islands National Park, filming a 360-degree video of his tour which was released on Facebook today.
“One of the amazing things about the National Park System is that there is always something new to learn, something new to experience, and something new to explore,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “Parks 101 entices people to get out there and give that ‘something new’ a shot, sparking a lifelong love for our national parks.”
Be part of the celebration and join the conversation using #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, and #Parks101 on social media.
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. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
To celebrate the National Park Service’s Birthday on Aug. 25, Hipcamp has hand-picked the most unique unbooked campsites near the top 10 most popular national parks
*** NATIONAL PARK SERVICE’S BIRTHDAY: AMERICA’S TOP 10 NATIONAL PARKS ***
#1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (11 million visitors per year)
#2. Grand Canyon National Park (6 million visitors per year)
#3. Yosemite National Park (5 million visitors per year)
#4. Rocky Mountain National Park (4.5 million visitors per year)
#5. Zion National Park (4 million visitors per year)
#6. Yellowstone National Park (4 million visitors per year)
#7. Olympic National Park (3 million visitors per year)
#8. Acadia National Park (3 million visitors per year)
#9. Grand Teton National Park (3 million visitors per year)
#10. Glacier National Park (3 million visitors per year)
>> SEE THE ALL CAMPSITES ON HIPCAMP: