National Park Week

Did you know that April 20th  through April 28th 2019 is National Park Week this year? This annual event celebrates our National Parks and is a pretty incredible celebration. The National Park Service partners with  the National Park Foundation, to celebrate America’s wonders. This includes all National Park sites, including the parks. There are  a lot of different events, and each day has a different theme.

So, take the opportunity this year to learn more about your parks or to make amazing memories. Many of the parks have epic outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, camping, rafting, fishing and more. There are over four hundred official National Park Service sites in the US, District of Columbia and the US territories. Sixty-one of these sites are designated as National Parks. For more information on National Park Week and to find what events are in your area, visit the National Park Service or the National Park Foundation online. You can also get downloadable park guides by going here to plan your next trip. See the schedule below for what events are taking place. Not all sites will be having special events on those days.

Yellowstone Park, courtesy of Amber Chaplin

April 20th- Free Admission and Junior Park Ranger Day- On Saturday April 20th, it’s free admission to National Parks.  Woohoo!! And it’s also National Junior Ranger Day. The Junior Ranger Program is a great way for children to learn about our National Parks through exploration, education and hands-on activities. Kids also learn why National Parks matter and ways to preserve and protect our parks. Plus, they can get some really neat stuff. It’s an experience they will not forget.

April 21st- Military And Veterans Recognition Day- This is a great time to learn how our military and service members have impacted our parks and what opportunities the parks provide for the military community. Many sites will have special activities high lighting historical military events, because many of the sites are historical battlegrounds. Learn how these sites have shaped our country.

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Mesa Verde National Park

April 22- Earth Day- This annual event started in 1970 and is celebrated world wide. Earth Day was established to create environmental awareness and education others on ways to reduce our impact on the planet. Find new ways to reduce, reuse or recycle or get outdoors for a hike or walk at your closest park. Learn more about the conservation efforts at our parks and ways that you can help too.

April 23- Transportation Tuesday– National Parks tell the story of transportation. From horses to trains, from canals and cars, learn how changes in transportation and roads have changed our parks. Instead of driving to a park, try riding a bike, walking or using public transportation.

April 24th- Wild Wednesday- Explore your wild side!!! Learn more about wild animals and plants, unique wilderness areas and some wild stories! Many of the parks have wildlife and plants that are unique to that area but are also endangered.

Yellowstone National Park courtesy of Amber Chaplin

April 25th-Throwback Thursday- It’s #ThrowbackThursday! Use this opportunity to share vintage photos of the park. Share your own stories or others memories and be inspired. Choose Throwback Thursday to explore the rich history of our parks.

April 26th- Friendship Friday- Take your friend out to explore the NPS sites. Or better yet, use this opportunity to become a friend of the parks. Learn what you can to do to help your parks. There are multiple organizations and volunteer groups that you can join to do your part.

April 27th BARK Ranger Day– Who doesn’t love their dogs? Use this opportunity to take your furbaby to the park so that they can enjoy it with you. Some NPS sites will have special activities and stories to celebrate this event. There might even be a BARK Ranger badge… There are some parks where dogs work there too, not just humans. Please note, not all parks allow animals but many of them do. Be sure to check before you go to your park.

April 28th- Park Rx Day– Take this day to learn more about how going to your park can improve your health. ParkRx is an actual program designed in collaboration with health care providers and community partners to improve your health by going to the parks. You can read more about park prescriptions by going to Parkrx.org.

I hope to participate in some of the events, but that is one busy week for me because of Easter and Passover. Montana actually has nine NPS sites including two National Parks. If you can’t make any of the activities, check out the America’s National Parks Podcast or Podcasts With Park Rangers to learn more about your parks and hear some great stories. You can also make a donation to support the National Park Foundation.And if you are on twitter, there is also a Twitter chat on April 18th that you can join to learn more about National Parks Week. Look up #FindYourPark on social media for fun information and pictures.  Take the time to explore your parks and enjoy these national treasures. I can promise you, it’s an experience you will never forget.  And as always, be outside with no limits. Love, Pauline

Comments

  • Ramae Hamrin

    2 years agoReply

    I love the photos in your post and it inspired me to go back to Yellowstone. I haven’t been there in decades and don’t really have a good excuse. I do have a dog now, so it’s good to know there are parks that are dog-friendly. I agree that being in parks and nature in general is so good for our health! I have just started bringing my dog to local parks and trails instead of just walking him on the streets. If he didn’t chase squirrels the whole time, it would be paradise!

  • Anna

    2 years agoReply

    I love National Parks. And every time we go on vacation I am really looking for national parks around more than anything else. Love nature! And your photos are just amazing! Yellowstone is for sure on my top list! Thank you for sharing about the week!

  • Lisa Manderino

    2 years agoReply

    I love a National Parks! I am glad 4th grader has the free pass this year!

  • Holly Bird

    2 years agoReply

    This is one of my all-time favorite times of the year to visit National Parks, they are busy but everyone is always excited to be able to participate and enjoy the parks!

  • Caitlin

    2 years agoReply

    Wow, I’ve never been to a national park, I’ve got to go! This looks beautiful.

    • Leigh Ann

      2 years agoReply

      There are so many I’d like to visit! I’ve been to Yellowstone and it is breathtaking. The lodge at Old Faithful is spectacular.

      • admin

        2 years agoReply

        I agree, it’s gorgeous.

  • Lina

    2 years agoReply

    I love to visit National Parks and I had no idea there was a National Park Week. Thanks for sharing and I will be making some plans.

  • Carolina

    2 years agoReply

    We have 2 dogs and we love to bring them to National Parks. Your pictures are beautiful!

  • Christella Burnette

    2 years agoReply

    This is just hauntingly beautiful. I don’t live close to a national park but I try to visit when possible. National parks are just incredible and we have to protect them!

    • admin

      2 years agoReply

      This pertains to all NPS sites, not just the parks.

  • Heather

    2 years agoReply

    Another thing to note, if you have a 4th grader, they get free admission to all National Parks for their entire school year. We are past that age, but made the most of it when my kids were younger.

    • admin

      2 years agoReply

      That is true! I forgot about that. I believe it’s for all NPS sites, not just the parks.

  • Brittany

    2 years agoReply

    Great post with some amazing information! I love taking my kids exploring…I wish we lived closer to some of the bigger National Parks!

    • admin

      2 years agoReply

      This actually includes all NPS Sites, so check to see what your closest ones are doing.

  • Karla

    2 years agoReply

    ParksRx! Never heard of it, but (being a retired health care professional), I’m looking it up after I finish reading everyone’s blogs. Thanks!!!!

    • admin

      2 years agoReply

      It is a great program.

  • jen

    2 years agoReply

    Great Post! I love that there is a National Park List. When I was young and single I made a point to visit as many of them as I could. SO many interesting places.

  • Paloma Cotton

    2 years agoReply

    I didn’t know national parks week was a thing! This inspired to take my daughter to some of these!

    • admin

      2 years agoReply

      It’s a fun annual thing. All the parks participate and some of the other NPS sites but not all. Our closest NPS site is Big Hole Battlefield and they didn’t do anything special.

  • Michele

    2 years agoReply

    Our parks are such amazing resources for history, education, meditation, exercise…I’m so glad there is a time dedicated to the awareness and appreciation of all they bring to our lives!

  • meagan

    2 years agoReply

    So beautiful! I’ve never visited a national park! I should go!

  • Jennifer Morrison

    2 years agoReply

    I so want to go to Yellowstone. I love visiting national parks, and that is the next one on my bucket list.

  • Kim

    2 years agoReply

    Until I saw your picture, I didn’t even know about Mesa Verde National Park. That looks like the kind of park I will have to visit!

  • Erin

    2 years agoReply

    I live only hours away from the Grand Canyon now, and while I’ve seen it many times before, I’m excited to take my son sometime soon.

  • Sharon

    2 years agoReply

    Such beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing all of that information about National Parks Week.. I never even knew that was a thing! Your pictures renewed my travel bug!

  • Janine

    2 years agoReply

    What a fun week! I wish we had the ability to go to a park this week. But hopefully soon

  • Sandi

    2 years agoReply

    I had never heard of National Parks Week, that’s so great! They add so much beauty to our travels.

  • Tricia Snow

    2 years agoReply

    I am headed to TN next week! I am going to use this! I had no idea there was a National Parks Week! Thank you for sharing.

  • Cindy

    2 years agoReply

    I celebrated this week last year with lots of outdoor activities. Thank you for reminding me about it!

  • Tiffany

    2 years agoReply

    I’m trying to make every week a national parks week! Need to get the kids out to nature a bit more! Even heading out this afternoon!

  • T.M. Brown

    2 years agoReply

    We love visiting the National Parks, but it has been a little bit. Thanks for breaking down the days – I love seeing that and will be adding it to my calendar for next year.

  • Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef

    2 years agoReply

    I totally love National Parks as a vacation destination, they have so much to offer and are always so beautiful and fascinating! Mesa is on my must see list for sure, thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful parks! 🤗

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