National Park Service Founders Day Celebrating 99th Anniversary
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 is National Park Service Founders Day – the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service. Superintendent David Hallac invites the public to experience their national park sites on the Outer Banks; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial. Special Founders Day programs will be offered at each site. The entrance fee to Wright Brothers National Memorial will be waived for the day.
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, creating the National Park Service. Founders Day is celebrated each year on August 25 in all of America’s national parks to honor the creation of the agency. The National Park Service Centennial will be celebrated next year in 2016. This centennial celebration will be a time for all Americans to celebrate their national park sites—places that connect us to our histories and our environment, places that promote mental, physical, and spiritual health, places that enliven the human spirit.
Special Founders Day programs being offered this year include:
- Meanings of the National Park Service – The parks of the Outer Banks Group are part of a vast network of sites protecting our natural and cultural heritage from coast to coast. Join a ranger to explore the meanings of the National Park Service as we look back nearly a century from its founding, and as we look forward into its future. At 10:30 am Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Wright Brothers National Memorial. At Cape Hatteras National Seashore: 12:00 p.m. at the Ocracoke Island Visitor Center, 2:00 p.m. at the Bodie Island Lighthouse pond trail platform, and 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center. (20 min)
- Build Your Own Arrowhead – The National Park Service arrowhead has unique symbolism related to the agency’s mission. Kids are invited come and build their own arrowhead with special significance; 12:00 p.m. at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion. (30 min)
Youth can also earn Junior Ranger badges by completing a workbook and attending programs at each of the three parks. Go to the visitor center and pick up a Junior Ranger booklet to get started. Children who cannot visit a national park site in person are invited to take part in the national “WebRangers” activities at www.nps.gov/webrangers.
For a fun and free way to learn more about the National Park Service on Founders Day, you can take a free on-line course titled Introduction to the National Park Service: Its History and Mission. This 30-40 minute course is designed for anyone who has an interest in the agency and can be accessed at http://provalenslearning.com/courses/introduction-to-the-national-park-service-the-history-of-the-nps-2014. Completion of this course can provide teachers with 0.2 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits.
The National Park System has been described as “the best idea America ever had.” National parks are critical to protecting the Earth and are connected to a global conservation community. They reveal a comprehensive national identity, connecting us to ourselves and each other. For more information on the National Park Service Centennial, go to http://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/index.htm.