That’s right! Earth Day and National Park Week (April 21–April 29) coincide every year and give travelers and outdoor enthusiasts a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get outside and experience the greatest treasures our nation has to offer.
Here are a few other things you may not have known:
- Did you know that National Park Week is FREE? That’s correct, admission fees at all of America’s national parks are waved all week long.
- Did you know that there are nearly 400 national parks across the country (397 to be exact!)? You can find the ones near you right now at www.nationalparks.org.
- Did you know that the National Park Service protects and preserves nearly 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites?
- Did you know that Yellowstone is the world’s first national park established on March 1, 1872?
- Did you know that the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and raises private funds that directly aid, support, and enrich the national parks and their programs?
Now that you are prepared—it’s time to plan your visit! Together, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation present National Park Week and have created http://www.nationalparkweek.org/ to give you all the information you need to be a part of the celebration. Visit and discover the many events and activities you can take part in, plus share your stories, photos, and videos of your park experience.
So take time this week to get outdoors and experience what we are blessed to own as Americans—84 million acres of the world’s most treasured places. Our national parks belong to you—and all that is asked in return is that you pass on these places, unimpaired, so the next generation may enjoy them too.
And with that, I will leave you with one last fact—something to think about this National Park Week. It’s a phrase—one etched into the arch at the gate of Yellowstone that has guided our national parks since their inception. It simply reads, “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
Not only is it time to celebrate the outdoors during National Park Week, Southwest is participating in the National Park Week Sweepstakes sponsored by our friends at the National Park Foundation. Although Employees are not eligible to win, we hope you will encourage your friends to enter at www.facebook.com/nationalpark.