National Park Week 2019: Celebrating America’s National Parks
WASHINGTON - National Park Week, running from April 20 through 28, has something for everyone! Join the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation for nine days of fun, including National Junior Ranger Day and National BARK Ranger Day. Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org for more information and a list of special events.
“National parks are sources of inspiration, recreation, and education for everyone,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “During National Park Week, a wide variety of creative programs and events across the country will showcase these amazing places and encourage everyone to visit a park.”
Park visitors can go on ranger-led hikes through hoodoos, prairies, caves, redwoods, wetlands, and sand dunes. There will be free guided tours of lighthouses, pueblos, battlefields, historic ships, forts, presidential homes, lower Manhattan, the French Quarter, and even a Nike missile site. Narrated bike, boat, train, and wagon rides are available. And it’s a great time to try out a new hobby such as bird watching, star gazing, painting, yoga, basket weaving, or hula dancing.
“National parks give us more than 400 reasons to celebrate together,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “National Park Week is a great time to find your park with loved ones and to experience the stories and adventures that await in these treasured places.”
To get the celebration started, there will be a lively and engaging Twitter chat on Thursday, April 18 at 1 p.m. EDT. Join the conversation and share your favorite memories, tips, and stories about national parks using the hashtags #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, and #NationalParkWeek. From April 18 through 28, a special limited-time park ranger emoji will appear with the use of any of these haghtags on Twitter.
National Park Week begins with an entrance fee-free day on Saturday, April 20. One of five fee-free days scheduled in 2019, April 20 is also National Junior Ranger Day. Almost every park will have booklets for kids loaded with activities that can be completed to earn a Junior Ranger badge.
On Saturday, April 27, bring your favorite furry friend to a dog-friendly park to celebrate National BARK Ranger Day. Many national parks welcome dogs in developed areas, trails, and campgrounds. Learn the where, what, and how of traveling with your pets in national parks. Be sure to employ the B.A.R.K. principles so you and your canine can enjoy a safe and fun visit to a park. BARK stands for:
Bag your pet’s waste
Always wear a leash
Know where you can go
National Park Week wraps up on Sunday, April 28 with Park Rx Day. Studies show that time in parks and nature improves physical, mental, and social health. A growing number of healthcare providers are prescribing nature as a healing tool to improve human health. Fill your Rx with a stroll, picnic, or other relaxing activity in a park.