Nature lovers, get ready to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Locally, Everglades National Park will mark the day, August 25, with cakes at each visitor center, plus other festivities. Part of the nationwide celebrations is “Sing Across America.” Local community groups will perform a musical piece written specifically for the centennial. While the list of performers for the Everglades is in the works, attendees can expect a good show.
If free cake and entertainment are not enough enticement, visitors will be able to bask in the Everglades National Park’s beauty at no charge on “fee-free days” August 25-28.
“The focus of the centennial is on raising awareness about our National Parks,” says Alan Scott, chief of Resource Education & Interpretation for Everglades National Park. “There is a disconnect between nature and a large part of the population who are focused more on technology, and it is growing,” he says. “We are inviting new people and engaging them so that they know the parks are here and that they own them.”
Ongoing events for 2016 include the Centennial Triathlon Challenge, for which visitors must complete 100 miles of hiking, biking, and paddling in at least two of the four National Park units in South Florida, and The Tamiami Trail Triathlon, which involves a 15-mile bike ride from the Shark Valley Visitor Center, a 3-mile hike from the Oasis Visitor Center, and canoe or kayak ride for 3.5 miles from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. Those who complete the “triathlon” will receive a shirt custom-made for the centennial.