National Park Week (USA)

National Park Week logo

National Park Week in the USA has just finished, organised (of course) by the National Park Service and supported by the National Park Foundation. This year, there have been more virtual events unsurprisingly than ever before, along with daily themes around which social media content was focused such as Transformation Tuesday, Earth Day, and Junior Ranger Day. Twitter even rolled out a Covid-friendly Park Ranger emoji complete with mask to accompany the related hashtags for the week #findyourpark

The Presidential Proclamation from the White House noted the healing power of connection with nature, and the opportunities for the NPS as an organisation to engage ever more equitably with the communities it serves.

This year’s Park Week also saw the anticipated launch of the NPS app, which brings together a range of handy visitor information about parks and sites in the National Park System, along with maps and links to interpretation materials. The app takes the design principles of the Unigrid further into the digital realm (Those who recognise our guidebook and signage obsessions on this blog will realise I’ll inevitably be coming back anon on this….).

The app’s first iteration is good and, even though somewhat afar sitting in the UK, I have already lost a number of hours playing with it – and am now mentally planning future trips back to the States to try it out on location.

Park Week details for this year, along with resources from previous celebrations can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/national-park-week.htm

Author: Ian Baxter

Heritage management / historic preservation academic at Heriot-Watt University; Vice-Chair of the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS); Trustee of The Heritage Alliance. Obsessed by administrative histories of heritage organisations, heritage signs, and the design of site guidebooks.

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