America is currently in the middle of National Park Week. Running from April 16 through the 24th, National Park Week is a national celebration of one of our country’s greatest treasures– our National Park system. During National Park Week, admission to all National Parks is completely free. The theme for this year’s National Park Week is “Healthy Parks, Healthy People.”
The National Park system is comprised of 394 individual National Parks in the United States, covering over 80 million acres of land. Throughout National Park Week, there will be a series of celebrations at National Parks throughout the country. From special Earth Day events on April 22, to Junior Ranger Day, the activities are educational and exciting. To access a list of specific events at different National Parks this week, check out this online resource.
President Obama, in celebrating the start of National Park Week, declared:
Every day, America’s national parks — from the smallest historic sites to the largest natural spaces — contribute to our Nation’s collective health and spirit. These places preserve our unique history and iconic symbols. They protect ecosystems and serve as reservoirs of biodiversity. They are sources of natural sounds, clean water, and fresh air. Our parks provide accessible, safe, and affordable places to appreciate the bounty of our land. They offer opportunities for wholesome outdoor recreation, which can improve the health and vitality of all Americans.
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.
Photo credit: rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect6/Sect6_7.html