Agency, foundation ramp up 2016 centennial planning

Staff reportMarch 30, 2014 

A campaign to reintroduce the national parks and the work of the National Park Service to a new generation of Americans will be the centerpiece of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration in 2016.

The two-year effort will begin in 2015 and run throughout the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary year in 2016. Plans for the campaign, titled “Find Your Park,” are underway in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, said a Park Service news release.

The Park Service and foundation will team up with partners to produce programs, events and activities that develop awareness, deepen engagement and increase support for America’s national parks and the work of the Park Service and its partners.

In addition to making all 401 Park Service units go-to destinations, the campaign will highlight the historic preservation and outdoor recreation work the service does with communities across the country and the value it brings to Americans every day.

“We are excited to use the centennial to invite every American to get to know their national parks and to understand how our 100 years of conservation experience translates into on-the-ground revitalization projects in their neighborhoods,” Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a news release.

“Our campaign will encourage Americans to discover a personal connection to a place or a story that provides inspiration or enjoyment, and to then join us in our second century of stewardship of America’s most treasured places,” he added.

As part of the joint effots, the Park Service and foundation Monday launched new centennial web pages, the start of a communications effort that will kick into high gear in early 2015 across all digital platforms to invite engagement in centennial activities.

February visits

Mount Rainier

February 2014: 10,641

February 2013: 16,937

Difference: -37.17 percent

Year to date 2014: 34,465

Year to date 2013: 38,672

Difference: -10.88 percent

About three weeks of heavy precipitation in February led to many closures of the road to Paradise and the accompanying dip in visitation. The only February count in the last decade that was lower was in 2007, when much of the park was closed due to the November 2006 flood.

Olympic

February 2014: 77,894

February 2013: 81,808

Difference: -4.78 percent

Year to date 2014: 151,818

Year to date 2013: 158,970

Difference: -4.50 percent

Bad weather at the park and throughout the Puget Sound region kept the February visit count at the lowest level since 2011. The biggest decline was seen at the Hurricane District, where visitation was down 69.5 percent.

National Park Service

February 2014: 10,629,413

February 2013: 11,130,734

Difference: -4.50 percent

Year to date 2014: 21,155,975

Year to date 2013: 22,666,359

Difference: -6.66 percent TO LEARN MORE

National Park Service: nps.gov/ subjects/centennial/index.htm

National Park Foundation: nationalparks.org/our-work/ celebrating-100-years-service

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