National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks
On September 22, join in the nation’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors on National Public Lands Day! All national parks will have free admission and many will host volunteer service projects open to all.
“Every year, Americans come together on National Public Lands Day to demonstrate their love of national parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “Activities hosted by parks across the nation will promote environmental stewardship and encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and good health.”
Marking its 25th anniversary this year, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day environmental volunteer effort. More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in volunteer service events designed to improve the health of public lands and encourage shared stewardship.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke will celebrate the day by working alongside groups of military veterans and youth to paint several historic structures at Grand Canyon National Park. The volunteer project to restore the cabins is an example of the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance needs in the National Park System. Secretary Zinke will also meet with national park partners and congressional representatives to discuss legislative efforts to address the maintenance backlog.
Grand Canyon is just one of 100 national parks and 2,600 federal public land sites hosting National Public Lands Day events. In other national parks, volunteers will rehabilitate campgrounds, improve trails, restore native habitats, repair bluebird boxes, clean beaches, and refurbish historic buildings, among other projects. Check NPS.gov for more information and a list of sites.
Volunteer efforts on days such as National Public Lands Day demonstrate the willingness of people to give back to the land for the benefit of parks. Volunteers assisting on work projects on National Public Lands Day will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for free entrance to any national park on a date of their choosing.
National Public Land Day celebrations also include recreational and educational activities, such as hikes, bike rides, paddle trips, bird watching excursions, and water quality testing. To encourage everyone to join the fun, it is an entrance fee-free day for national parks and most other federal public lands and state parks.
The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments. The federal partners are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.
National Park Service News Release
Release Date: November 14, 2017
National Park Service Announces Fee Free Days for 2017
Ten More Great Reasons to Visit a National Park
WASHINGTON – Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit a national park for free on one of 10 fee free days in 2017.
The ten entrance fee-free days for 2017 will be:
“National parks are known for their priceless beauty,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “They are a bargain anytime but on these ten days in 2017, they really will be priceless. We want everyone to visit their national parks and the fee free days provide extra incentive to experience these amazing places.”
During the fee free days, all National Park Service sites will waive their entrance fees for all visitors. Usually, 124 of the 413 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The other 289 sites do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
To continue the national park adventure beyond these fee free days, the annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks,. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.
The National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 413 sites including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park in every state.
Last year, 307 million people visited a national park. They spent $16.9 billion which supported 295,000 jobs and had a $32 billion impact on the U.S. economy.
In addition to national parks, the National Park Service works with tribes, local governments, and partners across the country to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Programs such as the National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and the Rivers, Trails, Conservation Assistance Program revitalize communities, celebrate local heritage, and provide places for people to get outside, be active, and have fun.
2017 Pathways Conference presented by Colorado State University, US Fish & Wildlife Service and Rocky Mountain National ParkPosted: December 2, 2016
Pathways Conference 2017
Join us for the Pathways 2017 conference hosted by Colorado State University, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado!
Abstract due date: April 24, 2017 (Call for abstracts Dec. 1)
Mark your Calendar: September 17 – 20, 2017
Location: This year we return to the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Nestled in the outskirts of the beautiful town of Estes Park, the YMCA of the Rockies is surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park on three sides. This venue provides a fantastic setting with abundant wildlife viewing opportunities at your doorstep.
|National Park Visitor Spending Contributes $32 Billion to Economy
Every public dollar invested in National Park Service returns $10
WASHINGTON – Spending by a record number of national park visitors in 2015 provided a $32 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 295,000 jobs, according to a report released today by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
“The big picture of national parks and their importance to the economy is clear,” Jarvis said of the $16.9 billion visitors spent in communities within 60 miles of a national park. “Each tax dollar invested in the National Park Service effectively returns $10 to the U.S. economy because of visitor spending that works through local, state and the U.S. economy.
“This is especially significant news to the gateway communities where national parks can be the community’s primary economic engine,” Jarvis said. “While we care for the parks and interpret the stories of these iconic natural, cultural and historic landscapes, our neighbors in nearby communities provide our visitors with important services like food and lodging and that means hundreds of thousands of local jobs.”
The report comes on the heels of a major policy speech delivered by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell earlier this week. The Secretary called for greater investments in national parks and public lands to prepare for the next century of conservation. The address, delivered during National Park Week, also called for a course correction in conserving America’s public lands; made an argument to make our national parks more relevant to an increasingly diverse and urbanized country; and called for implementing smarter, landscape-level planning to support healthy ecosystems and sustainable development on public lands.
Visitor spending in 2015 supported 295,000 jobs, provided $11.1 billion in labor income, $18.4 billion in value added, and $32.0 billion in economic output to the U.S. economy. The lodging sector provided the highest direct contributions with $5.2 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 52,000 jobs. The restaurants and bars sector provided the next greatest direct contributions with $3.4 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 65,000 jobs.
According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).
The annual peer-reviewed economics report, 2015 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, was prepared by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. It includes information by park and by state on visitor spending, the number of jobs supported by visitor spending and other statistics.
Report authors this year also produced an interactive tool to present data in full color circle and bar graphs . Users can explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.
National Park visitation is expected to grow again in 2016, the centennial year for the NPS. There are now 411 parks in the national park system, the latest is the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in Washington D.C., established by President Obama on April 12.
President Obama established a Centennial Initiative for the NPS anniversary and Congress is considering a centennial act to support a multi-year effort to invest wisely in the park system’s most important assets, use parks to enhance informal learning, engage volunteers, provide training opportunities for youth, and enhance the NPS’s ability to leverage partnerships to accomplish its mission.
National Park Visitor Spending Contributions to the U.S. Economy 2012-15
Free Admission and Festivities for All during National Park Week April 16-24
All Americans Encouraged to #FindYourPark and Celebrate the NPS Centennial
Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2016) As the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates 100 years of protecting and preserving the nation’s parks and monuments, all Americans are encouraged to get out and #FindYourPark during National Park Week, April 16 through 24. All National Park Service entrance fees will be waived for the week so choose a park, near or far, and discover what makes it unique.
Each of the 410 national parks is a thread in the tapestry that tells the story of our country – its beautiful landscapes, diverse culture, and rich heritage. Throughout the year, and especially during National Park Week, the NPS and the National Park Foundation, invite everyone to discover and share their own unique connections to our public lands.
“We have an amazing variety of special events taking place during the centennial,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Some commemorate our first hundred years, but many others look to the future, to the next 100 years, and will help connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. It is through them that America’s lands and stories will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”
“With free admission to parks all week long, National Park Week is the perfect opportunity to check out a new location, revisit one of your favorite parks, and perhaps invite a friend who has never visited a park before to join you,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “It’s a great time to experience and celebrate our parks and historic places, and discover and share with each other how these treasured places are vital and relevant to people from all backgrounds from all over the country.”
National Park Week will kick off with National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 16. Parks will host kid oriented activities and distribute the new Centennial Junior Ranger booklet and badge. Throughout the week, many parks will also host Every Kid in a Park events, which encourage fourth grade students to visit national parks and other public lands by offering a free annual pass.
Other highlights during the week include an education summit on April 20, Earth Day events on April 22, a national park InstaMeet on April 23, and Park RxDay on April 24. Park Rx is a community health initiative where medical doctors “prescribe” time in parks to promote wellness and help prevent and treat chronic disease. More than a dozen national parks will offer health screenings and recreational activities, including an event with the U.S. Surgeon General.
Visit www.FindYourPark.com to learn more about National Park Week activities throughout the country.
Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs that help revitalize communities and commemorate local heritage.
|National Park Service News Release|
National Park Service Offers $15 Million in Grants for Outdoor Recreation in Cities
WASHINGTON – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today opened the application period for $15 million of grants to develop outdoor recreation spaces in urban areas.
“We are excited to offer these competitive grants which will be matched with local partnerships to create safe outdoor recreation places for people, especially young people, in neighborhoods of America’s cities,” Jarvis said.
The National Park Services (NPS) Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) competitive grants are made available through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and are just the second round of such grants. The NPS obligated $2.9 million of the grants for pilot projects last year. Communities and partners matched that money with projects in eight cities worth a total of $6.1 million.
“I think Congress recognized the value of the projects and partnerships and they responded with a fivefold increase in project grant dollars this year,” Jarvis said. “We’re looking to build on the excitement generated by these pilot projects and grants to add many more projects across the country.”
The NPS will entertain project proposals ranging from $250,000 to $750,000 each, and planning grants up to $75,000. Projects must have matching funds and partners. Outside of the planning grants, funding for eligible projects can be used to acquire and/or develop land to create new, or reinvigorate existing, public parks and other outdoor recreation spaces in neighborhoods that are underserved or lack such opportunities.
Jarvis also announced a pilot planning grant program mini-competition, which will fund special studies to help guide park and recreation investment to where it is needed most in urbanized areas.
The ORLP grants complement the existing NPS LWCF State and Local Assistance Program in targeting national priorities to create new opportunities for outdoor play as well as development or enhancement of outdoor recreation partnerships in cities. Selected projects will showcase how partners at all levels can work collaboratively to leverage investment and support close-to-home recreation opportunities that will connect youth to public lands.
Since its establishment in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has conserved land in every state and supported tens of thousands of state and local projects. The fund does not use taxpayer dollars; the primary source of income derives from fees paid by oil and gas companies drilling offshore in waters owned by the American people. President Obama proposed full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, and is pursuing permanent authorization in annual mandatory funding for the Fund’s programs beginning in 2018.
Who may apply?
State and local government agencies (e.g., cities, counties, legal subdivisions such as park districts, etc.) and federally-recognized Indian tribes within or serving areas delineated by the Census Bureau from the 2010 census as having populations of 50,000 or more people and consisting of densely settled territory.
How do I apply?
Proposals should be developed in cooperation with the lead agency for LWCF in each state. The full funding opportunity announcement and pre-application materials are available online at grants.gov. Please look for Funding Opportunity Number P16AS00065; Title: Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program.
When is the deadline for applications?
Applications are due on Friday, May 20, 2016.
|National Park Service News Release|
|National Park Service Certifies 2015 Visitation at 307 Million
Reports Annual Top 10 Lists and Other Highlights
WASHINGTON – President Theodore Roosevelt was reelected in 1904, the same year rangers started counting national park visitors. There were more than 120,000 visits to America’s 11 national parks in the first year of counting. This week, the National Park Service (NPS) certified 2015 national park visitation at more than 307 million. It also released its popular Top 10 list of the most visited national park sites.
“The popularity of national parks is well known, but last year’s numbers really are extraordinary,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year, we’re preparing to welcome more visitors than ever including a new generation of park supporters and advocates who are discovering their own national park adventures.”
Today’s figures were an increase from the unofficial visitation total of 305 million reported by the NPS in January. The difference is attributed to the recently-completed NPS visitation audit.
2015 visitation highlights include:
Notable park milestones in 2015
Overnight stays in park campgrounds and backcountry were up over 2014.
Total overnight stays (sum of all categories) were up 6 percent over 2014.
All Parks of the National Park System