AORE Partner News May 2016 - Page 8

I

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

N 1896, A GROUP

OF MEN RODE

BICYCLES THROUGH A ROUGH YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. THESE WERE BUFFALO SOLDIERS, AMERICAN SOLDIERS OF AFRICAN HERITAGE. YELLOWSTONE WAS ONLY PART OF THEIR 790 MILE, 16 DAY TRIP.

Yellowstone National Park had existed for almost a quarter of a century, but it was still twenty years before the birth of the National Park Service (NPS). Many Buffalo Soldiers were park rangers of the early national parks and cared for both park visitors and the land; yet today, as the NPS centenary is celebrated, the park service finds itself striving to develop a more diverse audience of users and stewards. The National Park Service especially wants to capture the attention of young people, to engage them in activities, and to allow them to realize that the parks belong to them.

The centennial activities are packed full of outreach. The stated goal of the centennial year is to “connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates.”

A Diverse National Park Service Centennial Celebration

While hoping to draw everyone's attention to the recreational and cultural value of national parks, embedded in the heart of this goal is outreach to diverse audiences, through relevancy and inclusion.

Across the nation, centennial celebration activities are helping people make connections to their national parks through a variety of activities. Some events are designed simply to introduce newcomers to a sampling of what the NPS has to offer. Other events inspire those already actively involved with parks. Activities range from innovative to traditional, or may be a combination of both.

(Please see info-graphic on page 8).

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