The National Park Service’s 100th anniversary is shifting into high gear with the first USPS Forever stamp depicting one of the parks and a week of free admission to all national parks starting April 16.
A stamp image featuring a photograph of Maine’s Acadia National Park’s Bass Harbor Head Light was previewed this week as the first of 16 Forever stamp images to be revealed over a three week period to celebrate the NPS’s milestone.
The stamp image depicting the Bass Harbor Head Light was photographed by David Muench. “People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Today visitors to Acadia hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery,” says the NPS. Acadia is located near Bar Harbor.
The park service is urging all Americans to get out and enjoy a national park with free admission April 16 through 24.
“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,” says the service.
“We have an amazing variety of special events taking place during the centennial,” adds National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Some commemorate our first 100 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.”
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.