National Park Week will be commemorated nationwide by the National Park Service April 18 to 26, and Everglades National Park is inviting everyone to come enjoy free park entrance the opening weekend, April 18 and 19. National Park Week is an opportunity to engage families and communities nationwide in America’s Great Outdoors, by reconnecting people with opportunities to enjoy parks located right in your back yard. The theme this year for National Park Week is, “Find Your Park.” “National Park Week is the perfect time for everyone to ‘Find Your Park,’ the national campaign premiered this month to launch the year-long Centennial anniversary of the National Park Service,” said Pedro Ramos, Superintendent of Everglades National Park. “We hope this opportunity to visit your national parks for free will inspire park neighbors and visitors to south Florida to come enjoy the wonderful places that are right here in your back yard. National parks are fun and affordable destinations, and we would like for Everglades National Park to be at the top of your list when you ‘find your park!” said Superintendent Ramos.
Wilderness Writing Expedition Special Exhibit: In honor of National Park Week, a Wilderness Writing Expedition special event is being held on Saturday, April 18, where local college students will display their written works about their wilderness adventures in the Everglades. Inspired by the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, each of the students slogged and paddled in the Marjory Stonemen Douglas Wilderness Area and wrote about whatit meant to them to, “find their park.” As student writers, each also found their voice, and the April 18 event is being co-sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association, as part of their “Find Your Voice” Initiative. The event is being held at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 2 p.m., followed by the first showing of a short video about the Expedition produced by Florida International University, and a social with the students. The Wilderness Writing Expedition Exhibit will remain on display in the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center until the end of May. At Everglades National Park, entrance fees will be waived April 18 and 19 at the main park entrance near Homestead, and at the entrance station at Shark Valley. The main park entrance is located at 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, Florida. Shark Valley is located at 36000 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida (on Highway 41). Concession operated tours include guided tram tours and bicycle rentals at Shark Valley, boat tours and canoe rentals at Gulf Coast, and houseboat, canoe, kayak, bicycle rentals and boat tours at Flamingo.
If you go: National Park Week (April 18-26) Free Park Entrance April 18 & 19 Wilderness Writer’s Expedition Exhibit April 18, 2-4pm WHERE: Free park entrance at the Homestead and Shark Valley Entrance Stations; Wilderness Writer’s Expedition Special Event at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, 40001 State Road 9336, approximately 10 miles southwest of Homestead. Visitor Center hours 9am-5pm daily. Admission to the visitor center is free.