WASHINGTON – On August 22, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will illuminate the iconic New York City skyline, continuing the centennial celebration of the National Park Service. With the help of Bill Nye, Questlove, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell – and with a nod to the innovative spirit of Thomas Edison National Historical Park – the event at Brooklyn Bridge Park will inspire new generations to discover America’s treasures, our national parks. The event is the third in the summer long Park Exchange series for the NPS Centennial, and is part of the #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque movement.
Through a partnership with One World Trade Center and Brooklyn Bridge Park, the event will allow participants to control the color of the One World Trade Center Spire for the first time ever by working together to solve interactive, collaborative puzzles on a giant digital circuit board. For those who want to follow the excitement remotely, the Statue of Liberty’s webcam of New York Harbor will offer views of the city. The festive day will feature music by Ramblin’ Dan and Questlove, appearances by Bill Nye, Secretary Jewell and park rangers, along with family-friendly activities exploring science and innovation. Interactive stations will encourage visitors to discover national parks and ways to make their own connections to parks.
Across the country, National Park Service sites will join the celebration using Facebook Live as they complete a “virtual park circuit.” The circuit will start and end at the Brooklyn Bridge Park event site in New York, with park rangers throughout the country exploring different concepts of innovation, one park at a time. Each park will in turn tag the next one in the series and the circuit will be completed with a return to Brooklyn for the last live post. More information about the Virtual Park Circuit can be found online here.
“To celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th birthday, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will bring the creativity and inventiveness of Thomas Edison National Historical Park to New York City and connect the innovative spirit to parks across the country,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, director of National Park Service. “National parks reflect the innovative spirit of America, because after all, they embody one of our nation’s most revolutionary ideas – that some of the most beautiful landscapes, iconic historic sites and culturally significant places should belong to every American. As we celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service this month illuminating the Manhattan skyline reflects this innovative, progressive American spirit and lights the way for the National Park Service as we enter our second century of service.”
“The National Park Service protects over 84 million acres of US soil, from beautiful landscapes like Yellowstone National Park to important monuments like Stonewall National Monument,” said Bill Nye, Centennial Ambassador for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement. “The event on August 22nd is the perfect invitation for everyone, from every generation, to be involved with our national parks.”
The public is invited to join the centennial festivities at Brooklyn Bridge Park from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22. The free celebration will include:
- 1:30 – 3:30 PM – Ice cream social with Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
- 2:00 – 4:00 PM – Musical performance by kid-friendly band, Ramblin’ Dan
- 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM – Surprise musical performance
- 7:45 PM – Opening Remarks with Bill Nye (Centennial Ambassador for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement), U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Will Shafroth (National Park Foundation President), Regina Myer (Brooklyn Bridge Park President)
- 8:00 – 10:00 PM – Guest celebrity DJ set by Questlove
- Family-friendly activities like sand-art, corn hole, temporary tattoos, games, prizes and learning stations with National Park Foundation Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque partners American Express, Subaru, and Coca-Cola. There will also be interactive stations:
- American Express – and its nonprofit partner Games for Change will host an interactive game experience showcasing the new iOS game - Save the Park - where you play as a park volunteer and experience the conservation activities that support the national parks. They will also host a special "Smart Parks Game Jam" in which participants will learn the basics of game design and prototype games that encourage people to use technology to interact with parks, showing how games can inspire environmental stewardship and civic engagement. Games will be played by judges and winners will receive prizes provided by Games for Change.
- Subaru of America who will be on-site to raise awareness of its National Park Zero-Landfill Initiative, an effort to significantly reduce waste going into landfills from all national parks, while educating attendees on how they can help keep the parks beautiful for another 100 years. To further divert waste from landfills, Subaru will also be collecting soft drink and water bottle caps that will be recycled into a park bench and donated to an organization or park in need.
- The Coca-Cola Company will showcase their partnership with the National Park Foundation and the parks by highlighting the Active Trails initiative. Active Trails promotes getting community members outdoors and active in parks, deepening connections with local communities, and inspiring the next generation of park visitors and supporters.
“It’s not often that someone – or something – celebrates 100 years on this planet. It’s super cool the National Park Service is celebrating its centennial by having me DJ their 100th birthday party,” said DJ Questlove, who will be playing a set at the New York Park Exchange event.
“We launched the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement to encourage a new generation to seek out our country’s incredible national parks,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “As we draw closer to this milestone anniversary, it is thrilling to see these connections taking root. Millions of people across the country are discovering that national parks are relevant to their lives in many ways. The National Park Foundation is committed to continuing these efforts as we enter the next 100 years of protecting and sharing these treasures.”
Some of the most admired companies in the world are supporting the National Park Foundation's efforts for #FindYourPark, including American Express, Budweiser, Subaru, REI, Humana, and Disney. Additional partners include Coleman and Coca-Cola.
For each of the three Park Exchange events, a national park experience is conveyed to – or exchanged with – one of America’s urban centers. The first exchange in May brought the majesty of Redwoods National and State Parks to the campus of the University of Texas at Austin and projected the giant trees on the side of the iconic University of Texas Tower. In June, an exchange event brought a traditional second line parade from New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park to another musically rich city Chicago. A calendar of events taking place across the country to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial can be found at FindYourPark.com/Find.
The host and a partner for the New York Park Exchange event, Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline; its mission is to create and maintain a world class park that is a recreational, environmental and cultural destination enjoyed by the residents of, and visitors to, New York City.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 412 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a $350 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.