Join in the celebration of national parks

Through april 29: Free admission, activities part of nationwide event

Staff reportApril 15, 2012 

Activities in and around national parks in Washington are being planned as part of the National Park Week celebration Saturday through April 29.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Picture Yourself in a National Park.”

The 397 units of the National Park System preserve and protect 84 million acres of the country’s most spectacular scenery, historic places and cultural treasures.

To encourage more people to visit their national parks, there will be no entrance fees charged throughout the week.

In addition to events at individual parks, the week includes celebrations of Volunteer Day on Saturday and Earth Day on April 22.

At Mount Rainier National Park, the celebration will be rather low key because access to parts of the park are closed and snow covers a good portion of the backcountry. The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise will be open the entire week.

Among the events being held around the state:

Junior Ranger Day

Saturday at Mount Rainier National Park. Programs will be offered during the day to encourage children to get outside and learn more about their national parks. For more information, contact 350-569-2211, Ext. 6131.

Junior Ranger Day

Saturday at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash. Children will have hands-on fun learning what park rangers do, including archaeology and historical demonstrations. From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $3 per person, children 15 years and younger are free. For more information, 360-816-6230.

Volunteer Drop-in Day

April 23 and 25 at the Matt Albright Native Plant Center at Olympic National Park. Volunteers can assist in propagating and caring for native plants for revegetation projects in the park. Tasks include seed sowing, transplanting, weeding, packing for projects, seed cleaning and general nursery maintenance. From 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, contact Jill Zarzeczny at Jill_Zarzeczny@nps.gov or 360-683-0757.

National Junior Ranger Day

April 28 at Olympic National Park Visitor Center, 3002 Mount Angeles Road, Port Angeles. Participants can hike and explore the forest with park rangers, create an art project to take home, examine the microscopic world of plants and insects. go on a scavenger hunt and earn a National Junior Ranger day award. Stop by between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, contact Dean Butterworth at dean_butterworth@nps.gov or 360-565-3146.

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