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EMPIRE, MI – The National Park Service (NPS) invites visitors of all ages to join in the celebration of its 100th birthday. With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 to August 28, the NPS is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark/ #EncuentraTuParque for the Centennial. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) has a full day of events from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Founder’s Day, August 25.
Find Your Park to Celebrate the Centennial
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the NPS “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.”
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of that moment and to look ahead to the next 100 years, the NPS and the National Park Foundation launched the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement. Inspiring people from all backgrounds to celebrate and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque invites people to discover and share their connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. “August – our birthday month – is a nationwide celebration of national parks, and we’re inviting everyone to the party,” said NPS Director Jon Jarvis. “We like to think that we look pretty good for 100, and with so many events and activities to commemorate this milestone, we hope all Americans will join us to celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and inspiring history in our nation’s parks and public lands. Whether it is in a distant state or in your own community, there are hundreds of ways and places to find your park!”
Events Across the Nation
From talking with an astronaut in space to Major League baseball games, the NPS is providing countless ways for families, students, and park-lovers of all ages to discover special park experiences for the Centennial. A sampling of these events is available on the National Park Service website, and many more can be found at FindYourPark.com and EncuentraTuParque.com.
Events at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
“We have a very full day of events on Founder’s Day!” said Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Scott Tucker. “We are offering lots of fun activities, as well as behind-the-scene looks at things people have been wondering about. I hope everyone takes advantage of the free days by coming out to join us!” Tucker noted that those who participate in a park-wide scavenger hunt of the Founder’s Day activities can get a prize at the Birthday Party from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Dune Climb. A complete activity listing can be found at https://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/ calendar.htm.
9:00 a.m. Plover Program – Platte Point
The Great Lakes Piping Plover is a critically endangered species that nests on the beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Come meet park biologists to learn about the success of their recovery in the park and how you, and your pets, can help the recovery effort.
9:00 a.m. Invasive Plants on the Beaches and Dunes – Peterson Beach
Meet a park biologist to learn how non-native plants threaten our dunes – then pitch in to help fight off the invaders!
10:00 a.m. Coffee Talk with the Superintendent – Platte River Campground Amphitheater
Meet Scott Tucker, the new Superintendent at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Bring your favorite morning beverage and chat with him at the campground.
10:00 a.m. Port Oneida Open House – Port Oneida Heritage Center
Join Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear for a sneak peak in the barns and farmsteads of Port Oneida. Meet at the Port Oneida Heritage Center to start your tour.
11:00 a.m. I Want to Be a Park Ranger – Visitor Center in Empire
What does it take to be a ranger? Find out about careers in the NPS and how to apply. Meet in the auditorium.
11:00 a.m. Trail Ambassador Bike Ride – Dune Climb
Join Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Trail Ambassadors on a short bike ride to learn what’s happening on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Meet at the trailhead at the Dune Climb.
11:00 a.m. Storm Recovery – Both Alligator Hill Trailheads
Explore Alligator Hill and learn how the National Lakeshore cleared the trail following last year’s windstorm. Talk with trail workers about the “tools of the trade.”
12:00 p.m. Secret of the Stones – Esch Beach
Beautiful beach rocks abound on the sandy shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Use your keen observation skills to uncover the tales these stones tell.
12:00 p.m. Wild Thoughts at a Wild Place – Bass Lake near Trails End
Stop by Bass Lake to explore with a ranger the depths of psychology, ecology, and human/wilderness relationships.
12:00 p.m. Aquatic Invaders – Glen Lake Picnic Area
Meet a park biologist to learn how you can help keep invasive species out of park waters.
1:00 p.m. National Park Centennial Trivia! – Glen Lake Picnic Area
Test your knowledge of the NPS and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by joining rangers for a rousing round of trivia – with prizes!
1:00 p.m. Talk with the Superintendent – D. H. Day Campground Amphitheater
Meet Scott Tucker, the new Superintendent at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Bring your favorite afternoon beverage and chat with him at the campground.
1:00 p.m. Park Ranger? Or Batman? – Visitor Center parking lot
Learn about the specialized equipment used by the National Lakeshore’s law enforcement rangers.
1:00 p.m. Log Cabin Preservation – Shalda Cabin (M-22 and County Road 669)
Hewing. Notching. Joining. Chinking. Check out the skills of the historic preservation staff at the National Lakeshore.
2:00 p.m. Inside the Inn – Sleeping Bear Inn, Glen Haven
If the walls could talk, what stories would they tell? Explore the Sleeping Bear Inn with a ranger.
2:00 p.m. Founder’s Photo Booth – Dune Climb
Stop by the Dune Climb and experience the life of the great founders of the NPS! Dress up like John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, hear great stories, and design your very own NPS arrowhead!
3:00 p.m. Beach Water Quality Monitoring – North Bar Lake
Meet a park biologist to learn about the park’s cutting-edge method of testing water quality at swim beaches.
3:00 p.m. Heroes of the Storm – Cannery, Glen Haven
This reenactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages. The rescue is followed by a live black powder firing of the Lyle gun; the only gun designed to SAVE lives.
4:00 p.m. Waking Bears – #9 Overlook, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
Not all of the bears at the National Lakeshore are sleeping! Learn about local black bears and how they differ from their western grizzly cousins.
4:00 p.m. Create Your Own National Park – Picnic Mountain, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
National parks are special places that represent America’s beauty, wildlife, history, and heritage. Learn about what unique qualities make a national park and then build your own!
11:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Meet a Real VIP – Glen Haven
Catch a volunteer and ask about their amazing stories of service at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They will be at the cannery, blacksmith shop, and maritime museum in Glen Haven.
8:00-6:00 p.m. Exhibit Search – Visitor Center in Empire
Explore the visitor center and learn about the National Lakeshore’s natural and cultural history.
5:00-7:00 p.m. Birthday Celebration – Dune Climb
Join park staff for the 100th birthday party of the NPS. Activities will be available for all ages. Help form a human “100” on the dune, sing happy birthday and have a cupcake. Celebrate in style at the Dune Climb. Food trucks will be available.
8:00 p.m. 100 Years of the National Park Service – Platte River and D. H. Day Campgrounds
Delve into the past 100 years of the NPS. Discover Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s place in history and uncover how you can help write the next century’s story of preservation. Programs offered at both D. H. Day and Platte River Campground Amphitheaters.
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. Visit them at www.nps.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter at www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube at www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
As you find your way through the clear skies of the National Lakeshore, you are encouraged to share your adventures at FindYourPark.com and on social media using hashtags #FindYourPark and #sleepingbearnps. For more in-depth information about the National Lakeshore, please go to www.nps.gov/slbe. Also, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sbdnl, Twitter site at www.twitter.com/sleepingbearnps, and Instagram at www.instagram.com/sleepingbearnps.