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125th Anniversary Year


Media Contact: Nate Adams,, (202) 619-7158, Joel Greenberg,, (202) 669-3639

Find Yourself in Rock Creek Park

National Park Service and Rock Creek Conservancy Host Special Events to Celebrate the Park's 125th Anniversary

Washington - The National Park Service and Rock Creek Conservancy yesterday kicked off a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of Rock Creek Park with a special event at the Omni Shoreham Hotel and Junior Ranger activities in the park. Park staff, partners, and new Junior Rangers shared their appreciation for the park and expressed optimism for its future.

"This is a year-long opportunity to highlight the rich history of Rock Creek Park as the first urban national park in the country," Superintendent Tara Morrison said. "This morning children dissected owl pellets and learned about park wildlife; I saw their eyes light up with the satisfaction of discovery -- maybe we'll inspire a future biologist. That's what this year is about -- having fun, learning, and inspiring people to work together to ensure a great future for Rock Creek Park."

Rock Creek Conservancy announced the nearly two dozen members of its Green Ribbon Panel, which will draft a green paper with observations and recommendations for the park's next 125 years. Panelists include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congressman Chris Van Hollen Jr., along with Pulitzer prize-winning author Edward Wilson and experts in urban planning, the environment, national parks, conservation, community development, recreation and the arts.

"We are honored to have attracted the commitment and level of expertise of those on the Green Ribbon Panel," Rock Creek Conservancy Executive Director Matt Fleischer said. "While the panelists evaluate the long-term possibilities for the park, we will focus on the more immediate with the 'Find Yourself in Rock Creek Park' app and helping people enjoy the park and volunteer in ways that strengthen their connection and improve the health of this very special place."

A new smart phone app, coming soon, was unveiled. The app will help people plan their park visits and make navigating the trails and attending park programs and volunteer events easier. The National Park Service and Rock Creek Conservancy hope that events during this anniversary year will encourage more people to visit the park and get involved.

Throughout the day, aspiring Junior Ranger attended programs in the park where they learned about owls and other wildlife, the Civil War, and how to care for their environment. All of the young people earned patches and were sworn in as new Junior Rangers.


About the National Park Service

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 405 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

About Rock Creek Conservancy

Rock Creek Conservancy protects the lands and waters of Rock Creek and revitalizes Rock Creek Park for people to treasure and enjoy. Rock Creek Conservancy is recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, please go to

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