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National Park Service to mark 96th year

The U.S. National Park Service turns 96 years old on Aug. 25 and is inviting everyone, especially children, to join in the festivities taking place coast-to-coast.

The National Park Foundation has created a birthday website to get the celebration going. The public can share birthday wishes or stories, pictures, or video from a trip to a park, at  http://www.npsbirthday.org.

“National parks belong to all Americans and we invite everyone to join us on this special day,” said National Park Service director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “There are hundreds of events planned. Take the kids on a snorkel adventure, bike ride, kayak tour, hike or archeological dig. See a blacksmith demo, living history encampment, or Native American concert. Or join me and thousands of children at Rocky Mountain National Park’s big BioBlitz.”

The 6th annual BioBlitz, presented by the National Park Service and National Geographic, is a 24-hour event where teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers and others explore the park and identify species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi and other organisms. Kids can go on discovery expeditions, take fun, hands-on “classes” at the Biodiversity University, and enjoy music, live animals and science demonstrations at the Biodiversity Festival.

“Like so many park lovers, the National Park Foundation is grateful to the National Park Service for the exceptional work they do every day to protect and preserve our country’s 397 national parks,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO. “This month we are excited to celebrate their 96th birthday and extend our thanks to them.”

For more information about national parks and events, visit http://www.nps.gov/.

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