National Park Week, April 21-29, 2018, is an annual national celebration of people, parks, trails, heritage areas, national trails and rivers, seashores, historic sites, beautiful landscapes, and so many more places that are remarkable. National Park Week is a great time to connect with the vast network of national parks, which protect and preserve our natural and cultural history.
National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac welcomes visitors and members of the local communities to visit Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial during National Park Week. Entrance to Wright Brothers National Memorial will be free on April 21. Entrance to Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is free year-round.
With this year’s National Park Week theme of “Park Stars,” all three of our Outer Banks national parks are offering special programs:
Wright Brothers National Memorial:
April 22-29 daily at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm
Wind & Sand (and Stars!): Step back in history during this short walk to learn about aviation superstars Wilbur and Orville Wright and the lasting impact of their first flight (25 minutes). Meet at the reconstructed camp building.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site:
April 22-29 daily at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm
A Star-Crossed Colony?: There seems to be as many theories about the Lost Colony as there are stars in the sky. Learn more about the history and mystery (25 minutes). Meet at the reconstructed earthen fort.
April 27-29 daily at 11:30 am
North Star & the Freedmen’s Colony: The North Star lit the way to freedom for many of those escaping slavery. For some the furthest north they had to reach was the Freedmen’s Colony on Roanoke Island (25 minutes). Meet at the reconstructed earthen fort
Cape Hatteras National Seashore:
April 22-29 daily at 11:30 am
Like a Guiding Star: The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has been a beacon of safe passage for mariners at sea. Learn more about this sentinel. Meet at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pavilion. April 28 at 8:00 pm, Night Sky Over Hatteras: Bring blankets and chairs for this evening of stargazing on the beach (1 hour). Meet at ORV Ramp 43 parking lot and consider bringing bug spray.
National Junior Ranger Day is April 21 . The Junior Ranger program helps children and families connect with parks in ways that engage them in exploring, learning, and practicing stewardship. Each national park site on the Outer Banks offers a Junior Ranger program for visiting youth. Check in at a park visitor center for a Junior Ranger booklet. There will be special Junior Ranger activities available from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Fort Raleigh NHS, Wright Brothers NMEM, and at the Cape Hatteras NS Bodie Island Lighthouse. If you can’t visit a national park on National Junior Ranger Day, you can still become a web ranger by visiting www.nps.gov/webrangers.
National Park Prescription Day is April 29. This is a day to harness the power of parks and public lands in contributing to a healthy society. To celebrate, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Wright Brothers National Memorial, in partnership with the Outer Banks Hospital, are offering two free Yoga in the Park events: April 29 at 10:00 am at Coquina Beach and April 21 at 10:00 am at Wright Brothers National Memorial (meet at the white tent). Bring a yoga mat or towel, sunscreen, and water.
For a fun and free way to learn more about the National Park Service during National Park Week, you can take an on-line 30-40 minute activity, Introduction to the National Park Service: The History of the NPS, available at www.provalenslearning.com. Completion of this course can provide teachers with 0.2 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits.