Some Greenbelters don’t even know we have a National Park just across Greenbelt Road, with campsites, trails, and more. So for 2016, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this blog is featuring Greenbelt Park, starting with a Big Events Update.
June 4, 2016 is American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, the country’s largest celebration of trails. Here in Greenbelt Park, volunteers will gather from around the region to celebrate trails and to help, starting with a trail maintenance project at 9:00 a.m, followed by an “Outdoor Ethics and Leave No Trace” talk at noon. Click here to pre-register for the trail maintenance project and be eligible for free swag. No skills required
This year National Trails Day activities coincides with living history. A Civil War era encampment will be on display from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Sweetgum Picnic area on June 4th. Musket-firing and artillery demonstrations by volunteer historians will take place at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. To attend the events, just show up. You can also call the Ranger Station at 301-344-3944 for more information.
The weekend of June 25-26 Greenbelt Park will be hosting a regional Ham Radio group for National Ham Radio Field Day, which this year with special focus on National Parks. Ham radio operators will be broadcasting from the park for two days and honing their skills by contacting similar groups in National Parks across the United States.
Earlier this month Greenbelt Park attracted over 350 volunteers for Student Conservation Association’s Day of Service, when they performed all sorts of stewardship projects within the park – painting, weeding, pruning, rehabbing the playground, and improving trails. Superintendent Matt Carroll told me their work was a huge benefit to the park. “Anytime you can connect our community with the park is a great thing. We had many first-time visitors over the weekend and look forward to welcoming them back to the park.”
Got a 4th grader? This year the Park Service is offering free passes to parks throughout the U.S. to all 4th-graders. To take advantage of the program, go online to Every Kid in a Park, fill out a form, and print it. Just bring it with you, and the whole family gets free entry to hundreds of parks, forests and other federal sites throughout the U.S. during all of 2016.
Some Greenbelters have expressed concerns about ticks, etc in the park, so I asked Matt Carroll about this and he responded: