Blog Post

Centennial Year Inspires National Park Visitation in 2016

By: Jennifer Leaver, M.A.

A few months ago, I had the privilege to attend an event called “Your Park After Dark,” held at Salt Lake’s Clark Planetarium. This event, co-hosted by the National Park Service and the Utah Office of Tourism, included mouth-watering food, sweet local tunes, and a premier screening of the new IMAX 3D film, “National Parks Adventure.” Packed with striking scenery, the film followed a small group of travelers (including world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker) as they ventured from one national park to the next. Not surprisingly, a good portion of the film featured Utah’s national parks, inspiring awe and a sense of solidarity among audience members. In fact, I’m pretty sure each and every one of us in the audience — donned in our 3-D glasses, mouths agape — was mentally planning our next national park adventure during every second of the film’s gorgeous 45 minutes.

On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) will turn 100 years old. To celebrate their centennial birthday, the National Park Service launched a “Find Your Park” movement, aimed to inspire Americans to get out and visit a national park. In conjunction with the centennial celebration, the NPS  is promoting events and programs like “National Trails Day” and “Be a BioBlitz Scientist” to encourage children and adults alike to explore the natural wonders of our parks.