Since April 21, America has been celebrating National Park Week 2012 with offers of free admission all week long to all 397 national parks. The National Park Service is urging Americans to explore the nation’s 84 million acres of landscapes, historical sites and cultural treasures.
“There’s still plenty of time to visit a national park and take advantage of all the great activities going on this week,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Picture yourself exploring a national park and sharing your experience with others.”
Here are five ways from the NPS recommends to enjoy the remaining days of National Park Week:
VISIT: Choose a park from the list of 397 possibilities on www.nps.gov. There are parks in four U.S. territories and every state except Delaware. All entrance fees are waived all week.
SHARE: The theme of National Park Week 2012 is “Picture Yourself in a National Park.” Visitors can share pictures (and videos, stories, and recommendations) with others by posting them on www.nationalparkweek.org.
BECOME A JUNIOR RANGER: Saturday, April 28 is Junior Ranger Day. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 can earn a Junior Ranger badge by participating in free special programs and activities. If you can’t make it to a park, then become an online WebRanger, NPS says. Visit www.nps.gov/webrangers
VOLUNTEER: Become a VIP (Volunteer-in-Parks) and help support favorite parks. Last year, more than 200,000 people donated their time and talents to the National Park Service. Staff an information desk, give tours, conduct bird counts, archive historic photographs, help with underwater archeology, join a bike or horse patrol – the opportunities are almost limitless, NPS says. Visit www.volunteer.gov.
VIEW: Watch 25 videos from 25 great national parks. Visit the National Park Service YouTube site. Visit www.nationalparkweek.org