By Hannah Remmert
Picture yourself sitting by a breathtaking lake, conquering a difficult hike or perhaps camping under a blanket of stars. You’ve found somewhere that radiates serenity and beauty- a true happy place.
Though this could be anywhere, many of us would say that we’ve found these beautiful places in our National Parks. The areas that have been preserved by the National Park Service, as well as many other parks and wilderness areas, have given us a place to commune with nature for the last 100 years. They’ve provided many great experiences and memories for some of us, and now they’re offering us all another great gift- free admission.
Starting this weekend, the National Park Service will be offering free admission to all National Parks from Saturday, April 16th– Sunday April 24th in honor of National Park Week. Normally, the first two days of National Park Week are free, but this year they’ve significantly extended the opportunity. They have also added another free weekend in honor of their Centennial Celebration, which will take place August 25-28, 2016.
In addition to giving free admission, the parks will also be hosting a variety of fun events throughout the week. The celebration will kick off with National Junior Ranger Day on April 16. On April 22, many of the parks will be hosting certain volunteer projects in honor of Earth Day.
On April 23 there will be the National Park Instameet, where visitors are encouraged to post pictures of themselves in the park using certain hashtags to link images from all the parks with #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, and #NPS100.
The following day, April 24, will be Park RX Day, where the parks will be hosting fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well-being.
So if you’re feeling up to it, challenge yourself to get out of Oxford for one of these weekends and take a mini-adventure to a National Park. Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Mammoth Cave National Park are both less than four hours away and will certainly provide a much-needed breath of fresh air from the end of the semester stress.