Thousands of events are planned at state parks nationwide in support of the first National ‘I Love My State Parks’ Week which runs from May 8-15.
“This week-long event will be a celebration of our fabulous state parks which are acknowledged as among the best in the world”, said Marci Mowery, chair of the National Association of State Parks Foundations, which is organizing the event.
The National Association provides a national voice as advocates for all the 8,500 state parks and forests nationwide, covering 18.6 million acres with 52,600 miles of trails, and the army of volunteers and Friends groups that help care for them.
“States are organizing their own events throughout the week under the “I love My State Parks” banner and each day will focus on a different aspect of what makes our state parks important in the lives of people and to economies across the nation,” she said.
State parks are more popular than ever, and many are experiencing record visitation, she said.
“Our aim is to increase the visibility of state parks by sharing the story of state parks and their many benefits. We are also asking the public to share their state park memories – in stories and photos.
“We want to engage new audiences and encourage people who have never visited a state park to do so,” said Mowery.
State parks offer diverse opportunities, providing something for everyone, and this will be reflected in the week of activities. Sunday’s theme will be Cherished Memories, Monday – Heritage (history and culture), Tuesday – Appreciation (thanking park staff and volunteers), Wednesday – Anticipation (planning your next visit); Thursday – Explore Nature, Friday – Health and Wellness, Saturday – Experiences and Sunday’s theme will be a call to action – urging people to visit their state parks, volunteer, donate and support the nonprofits that work with state parks.
Visitors are encouraged to use the hashtags #ILOVEMYSTATEPARKS and #ILOVEMYSTATEPARKSWEEK to engage with the national celebration and to follow along with the event.
State parks get more than 809 million visitors a year, which includes over 61.6 million overnight users, and state parks generate over $100 billion for local and state economies.
For more information, contact:
Marci Mowery, Chair, NASPF 717-371-2155 or email@example.com
Don Philpott, Vice Chair NASPF 321-277-8442 or firstname.lastname@example.org