national park week 2018

Bill Seratt

April 10

There is no doubt about it, one of the nation’s most important historic treasures is the Vicksburg National Military Park.  One of more than 400 units of the National Park Service, the Vicksburg National Military Park is the cornerstone of tourism in the region attracting visitors from throughout the country and around the world.  Over 500,000 people visit the park annually to learn about Vicksburg’s pivotal role in the Civil War and to view the magnificent works of art that commemorate those who served in the Siege of Vicksburg.

April 21 – 29 the National Park Service will be celebrating National Park Week.  The theme for National Park Week 2018 is “Park Stars,” celebrating everything from starry skies to superstar volunteers, park features and resources.  The week-long celebration starts with a fee free day on April 21st.   The gate fee will be waived at the Vicksburg National Military Park and at all national parks.  April 21st is also Volunteer Day in appreciation of the 339,626 volunteers who contributed well over 8 million hours of volunteer service at our national parks in 2017.  They work side-by-side with National Park Service employees in park programs across the nation to help preserve our nation’s most precious natural, historical, recreational and cultural treasures.     

On Earth Day, April 21, national parks will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and National Wild & Scenic Rivers System.  This year the National Park Service is inviting visitors from all backgrounds to #FindYourWay to explore America’s incredible network of scenic trails and rivers.  On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers acts, establishing the two systems.  Criteria for designation vary, and elements of the systems are stewarded by a variety of federal, state, and local agencies and nonprofit organizations, including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

On Saturday, April 28, the servicemen and veterans of the nation are honored at Military and Veteran Recognition Day.  The National Park Service offers opportunities for all Americans to discover our military history and engage with our military today.  The National Park Service will honor our veterans through ceremonies and commemorations.

National Park Week 2018 concludes on Sunday, April 29 with Park Rx (prescriptions).  Park Rx are programs designed in collaboration with healthcare providers and community partners that utilize parks trails and open spaces to improve individual and community health.  It is a day celebrated across the United States to promote the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health.  National Park Rx Day encourages everyone to consider visits to parks and public lands as very important parts of health.

We invite you to celebrate National Park Week with a visit to the Vicksburg National Military Park.  The park commemorates the campaign, defense and siege of Vicksburg in 1863.  During National Park Week the park will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Don’t forget that April 21st is fee free day!