Put on your red, white and blue and celebrate the birth of our nation at your favorite national park! There are plenty of outstanding Independence Day events taking place in national parks across the country. From theatrical reads of the Declaration of Independence to upbeat concerts filled with national pride, these events appeal to park-goers of all ages. Here are a few park events to check out that are sure to make your Independence Day a memorable one.

GEORGIA Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area – Spend your 4th of July evening listening to local bands, strolling through hundreds of arts and craft tents, tasting Georgia’s best southern dishes, and watching a spectacular firework performance over the river.

MARYLAND Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine – This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Celebrate at the site of one of the war’s most famous battles and the birthplace of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

PENNSLYVANIAValley Forge National Historic Park – Enjoy an All-American cookout at Valley Forge where kids of all ages will enjoy the music and have the chance to join the Continental Army and even sign the Declaration of Independence!

SOUTH DAKOTAMount Rushmore National Memorial – With over 21,000 July 4th visitors last year, Mount Rushmore offers many ways to celebrate Independence Day.

WASHINGTONFort Vancouver National Historic Site – With five different entertainment areas scattered throughout the site, visitors of all ages and interests are guaranteed a phenomenal time this Independence Day. Afterwards, end your holiday with watching one of the best firework performances on the west coast.  

WASHINGTON, DCNational Mall and Memorial Parks – Enjoy the 236th Fourth of July with special guests and musical performances concluded with a 20-minute fireworks display.

WYOMING Fort Laramie National Historic Site – Celebrate your Independence Day on the old-fashioned frontier with frontier-style games, a live performance of the equestrian drill team, and an interactive parade.

To find even more event ideas, visit the National Park Service website.

Share the Experience Photo Contest Returns America Is Your Park Students Support their
National Parks

Share the Experience Photo Contest Returns

Active Network and the National Park Foundation, with support from our media partner, Destination America, will kick-off the annual Share the Experience Photo Contest on July 3rd. Start gathering your national park photos or be sure to take some snapshots during your summer national park trip. There are lots of exciting changes in store for this year! In addition to a new look and feel, there are more opportunities to win. The three top winners will be awarded CASH prizes and of course the grand prize winner will have the honor of having his/her photo showcased on the 2014 Annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass. Winners in various categories, such as Wildlife or Adventure and Recreation, will receive hotel stays from Historic Hotels of America. In addition, weekly winners will be selected. The contest runs through December 31st.

America Is Your Park

Help a national park win the honorary title of “America’s Favorite Park” as well as a grant from Coca-Cola in its third annual America Is Your Park campaign. Voting is easy. Simply use your home computer or smartphone to vote at LivePositively.com as many times as you’d like. The first, second and third-prize winners will receive $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000 grants respectively. In addition, one park will be chosen at random from the remaining top 25 parks to receive a $15,000 grant. 

Make sure to cast your vote and help a national park win!

Students Support Their National Parks

When the 4th Graders at Oak Grove School in Vernon Hills Illinois were wrapping up their studies on national parks, they were fortunate to have a visit from Barbara Rosenstock as part of Authors for Earth DayAuthors for Earth Day is a coalition of children’s book authors who celebrate literacy and promote conservation through special Earth Day visits to schools around the country. Rosenstock, the author of The Camping Trip that Changed America, shared stories and took the 4th graders on a virtual tour through Yosemite National Park. As part of her visit, Rosenstock agreed to donate her speaking fee to a nonprofit conservation organization selected by the students. The 4th graders researched five different organizations and selected the National Park Foundation to receive the donation on the day of Rosenstock’s visit. 

As a final project, the Oak Grove 4th graders became experts on one of our National Parks and created a “ranger station” complete with illustrations, maps and photographs of plants, animals and geography. Friends, family members, and teachers were invited to visit each ranger station at an open house and ask students questions about the sights and attractions. “I couldn’t believe I ‘visited’ twenty national parks in one school gym,” said Rosenstock who was invited as a special guest, “The teachers did a fantastic integrated curriculum and the students taught all of us a lot about our national parks.”

The National Park Foundation salutes Barbara Rosenstock and thanks the Oak Grove 4th Graders for their generous gift!

To learn more and support your national parks, visit nationalparks.org!


Celebrate Summer with NPF!

Summer is here and it’s time to celebrate with weekly prize giveaways all summer long!  As a thank you to our awesome fans and friends, NPF is bringing back “Fan Friday” from June 20th – August 31st. Every week, NPF will present a new national park trivia question, and every fan that answers correctly will be entered to win the weekly prize pack, which includes lots of NPF gear and an “America the Beautiful” national park pass. And to top it off, at the end of the summer NPF will select a grand prize winner who will receive a once-in-a-lifetime houseboat adventure in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provided by Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas. Visit nationalparks.org/fanfridays to enter today!

NPF – Coming Soon to NYC and Las Vegas

The National Park Foundation will be hitting the road this summer and would love to meet our fellow park lovers! We will be at Adventures NYC in Central Park, NYC on June 23rd, and at the NCLR National Latino Family Expo at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on July 7th-10th. If you are in the area please stop by and say hi!

First Lady's Book to Benefit NPF

In her new book, American Grown, First Lady Michelle Obama invites readers inside the White House Kitchen Garden and shares its inspiring story, from the first planting to the latest harvest.  The National Park Foundation will receive all proceeds from the book to fund park programs that promote healthy eating, gardening, and giving young people the opportunity to experience our national parks, and lead more active lives. Get your copy today.

Digging into History

Did you know that you are the proud owner of “America’s Best Idea”, our 397 national parks! One of the reasons national parks are such a great idea is that they capture the story of Americans from every conceivable background. As the summer kicks in, kids around the country will be given the opportunity to visit national parks to explore, learn and create some of their own amazing stories through the National Park Foundation's 2012 America’s Best Idea Program. Kids will literally be digging into history through hands-on archaeology programs in Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and National Capitol Parks-East in Washington, DC. Other kids will be reliving the War of 1812 in River Raisin National Battlefield Park, and the Choctaw youth will be remembering their roots through re-enactments of the Battle of New Orleans at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. From now until the end of December, children around the country will be engaging in America’s Best Idea projects in 49 national parks, having fun, and along the way, learning a bit of their fellow citizens and why parks are such a great idea.

Learn how to support programs like this by visiting nationalparks.org/support-parks.

Support the Shenandoah National Park Trust

The aptly named Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park are some of the oldest mountains in North America. These 200,000 acres provide a refuge for wildlife and humans alike. While some visitors enjoy the panoramic views from Skyline Drive, others, such as the members of Shenandoah National Park Trust’s Hundred Mile Club, prefer to explore this unique landscape on foot along the 500 miles of hiking trails, including 100 miles of the storied Appalachian Trail. The Trust supports native forest restoration, historical resource preservation and educational initiatives, including programs on climate change and clean air, a particular challenge facing the park. On July 28th, members of the Hundred Mile Club will join other Trust supporters at Skyland Conference Hall for an all-day, in-park bash and BBQ, in support for the Trust’s mission to protect the park’s unique natural beauty and cultural history. A few of the party’s festivities will include hikes, ranger programs and entertainment.  

Help the Trust get to 1,000 fans on Facebook or visit their website to learn more about the Hundred Mile Club and other programs.

It's Not Too Late to Join Our Next ParkVenture!

Join us this Saturday, June 23rd, for a ParkVenture at Governors Island National Monument in New York!  We have a few spots remaining for this special walking tour of one of the most scenic spots in New York Harbor, but you must RSVP by Thursday to reserve a space. For more information, please contact Lauren Harnishfeger at [email protected].

Have a Story to Tell? Join Our Online Community Today!

Through our social media sites, Facebook and Twitter, as well as our newly updated website, the National Park Foundation’s online communities make it easy for you to get involved and stay up to date on park news! In fact, we want you to directly contribute to the park conversation. Share your park insights and experiences with a story, photo or video. To read other park lovers’ stories, or share one of your own, click here


Want to guarantee an unforgettable national park experience? Download NPF's FREE Happy Trails guide today and receive helpful tips and inside information before you embark on your national park journey.

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This Is Your Land

This month, fifty years ago, one of America’s greatest conservation presidents was honored by the creation of which two national parks in New York?

Submit Your Answer Here

And congratulations to last month's winner, Kathleen Belongia, from Willow Springs, MO who knew that Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial in Ohio, interprets over 200 years of the lasting peace between the US and Canada.

Way to go Kathleen!

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to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us - This Is Your Land.

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