The Outer Banks Group of national parks join other parks, programs, and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com. Recently launched by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service.
Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than a place – it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as the National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide.
“Find Your Park” is also the theme for this year’s National Park Week, April 18-26. Superintendent David Hallac invites everyone to come visit their local park. “There’s no better way to celebrate National Park Week than to invite visitors and community members to come visit and discover something new in your nearest National Park sites –free of charge!”
Special programs are available during National Park Week. At Wright Brothers National Memorial, explore the profound power of this place and recreate the famous image of the first flight (11:30 am and 1:30 pm all week), and see if you are faster than the 1903 Flyer (9-10 am all week). At both Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, delve into the meaning behind the NPS Arrowhead (all day on 4/18—National Junior Ranger Day).
Cape Hatteras National Seashore will explore the national and local history of the National Park Service at the park’s three visitors centers (at 11:30 am on 4/22 at Bodie Island; at 10 am & 2 pm on 4/24 at Ocracoke; and at 11 am on 4/20, 4/21 & 4/23 at Hatteras Island). Special Junior Ranger stations will be set up at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center, 10-11 am & 3-4:30 pm, on 4/18—National Junior Ranger Day.
A great way for kids to learn about national parks is through the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program, a program designed for ages 5-13. Along the Outer Banks, children can actually become three different kinds of junior rangers: a Seashore Ranger at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a Flight Ranger at Wright Brothers National Memorial, and a Roanoke Ranger at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. To get started, pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the park’s visitor center. Children who cannot visit the parks can still become a web ranger by visiting http://www.nps.gov/webrangers.
For a fun and free way to learn more about the National Park Service during National Park Week, you can take a free on-line course titled Introduction to the National Park Service: Its History and Mission. This 30-40 minute course, available at http://www.eppley.org, is designed for anyone who has an interest in the National Park Service. Completion of this course can provide teachers with 0.12 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits.
Entrance fees will be waived on April 18 – 19 at Wright Brothers National Memorial in recognition of this special week in the national parks.
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