Lizzie Dragon
by Lizzie Dragon
Posted March 31, 2021

Given the circumstances in April of last year, National Park Week went fully digital. However, this year things are starting to transition back to normalcy. With that, national parks and campgrounds have opened their doors once again, just in time for National Park Week 2021! 

What does this mean? Well, let’s dig into the following: 

  • What is National Park Week? 
  • When is National Park Week?
  • How can you celebrate National Park Week? 
  • Where can you celebrate National Park Week? 

Did we mention you can get free admission into National Parks? More on that later.

What is National Park Week? 

The week got its name in 1991 — the year it commemorated the 75th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS).  

Image Source: nps.gov

Today, National Park Week is a presidentially proclaimed, 9-day celebration. During such, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation (NPF) join forces to bring a week’s worth of events across the U.S. National Parks. 

When is National Park Week? 

National Park Week 2021 will be April 17-25. Each day has its own theme, events, and hashtags. 

DayTheme Hashtags
Saturday, April 17Park Rx Day#ParkRx, #HealthyParksHealthyPeople
Sunday, April 18VIP (Volunteers In Parks) Sunday#NPSVolunteer
Monday, April 19Military Monday#MilitaryMonday
Tuesday, April 20Transformation Tuesday#TransformationTuesday, #NPSOnTheMove
Wednesday, April 21Wayback Wednesday#WaybackWednesday
Thursday, April 22Earth Day#EarthDay
Friday, April 23Friendship Friday#FriendshipFriday, #NPSFriends
Saturday, April 24Junior Ranger Day#JuniorRangerDay
Sunday, April 25BARK Ranger Day#BarkRanger

How to celebrate National Park Week

Each day of National Park Week celebrates something different. 

Day 1: Park Rx Day

Park Rx Day is what I like to call National Park Week free admission day. You read that right — FREE. On the first day of National Park Week, you can get into any National Park fee-free. 

National Park Week 2021 is a time to celebrate not only the beauty but the healing power of the outdoors, as more and more healthcare providers refer their patients to parks to better their health and wellbeing. This day in nature is just what the doctor ordered. So, get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and maybe even become a Park Health Ambassador

So, hit the road during National Park Week for free admission! 

Day 2: VIP Sunday

The NPS takes a day to celebrate the many (more than 300,000) volunteers that keep the parks preserved and thriving. From cleaning up trails to planting trees, these NPS volunteers do it all!

See how you can volunteer and make a difference at your National Parks. 

Day 3: Military Monday

Veterans and active-duty military are always welcomed and celebrated in National Parks. But, April 19th is a special day set aside to recognize these men and women who protect our nation. 

Day 4: Transformation Tuesday

NPS has been preserving and protecting National Parks for more than 100 years. Take some time to acknowledge the everchanging scenery and the ever-growing opportunities in the National Parks. 

Day 5: Wayback Wednesday

There are hundreds of historical and cultural sites protected by NPS. Discover the rich history of the country’s National Parks and what NPS and NPF do to preserve the parks and their stories.

Day 6: Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated globally. This day invites more education and stewardship of the planet’s natural resources. 

This year, the global theme is “Restore Our Earth.” The NPS is taking not only this day but the entire month of April to discuss Connected Conservation. Tune in for their webinar series or read some of their success stories!

Day 7: Friendship Friday 

Friendship Friday recognizes all that is made possible with the help of NPS partners. National Parks are supported by their communities as much as the NPS supports its communities. This day is a time to celebrate this equal partnership, this friendship, and the good that comes from it. 

Day 8: National Junior Ranger Day

Anyone at any age can become Junior Ranger any day. Your youngster can attend in-person or digital Junior Ranger Programs, learn about everything from the night sky to preserving nature, and earn badges! 

Day 9: BARK Ranger Day 

National Parks are meant to be explored and shared with those we love, including our furry friends. Take your dog on a pet-friendly road trip and follow the 4 BARK principles: 

  1. Bag your pet’s waste
  2. Always leash your pet
  3. Respect wildlife
  4. Know where you can go

Rent a pet-friendly RV and hit the road!

Where to celebrate National Park Week 

You can celebrate National Park Week 2021 anywhere from your nearest park to the comfort of your couch. #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque and see what special programs, events, and digital experiences they have planned. 

Plan a National Park road trip

What better time to take an RV road trip than National Park Week? Check out these 10 must-visit National Parks and start planning. 

See what National Park campgrounds are open and reserve your campsite ASAP as they will fill up quickly!

Lizzie Dragon

Outdoorsy Author

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