Celebrate 100 years of adventure with the National Park Service

Posted on Apr 25 2016 - 6:31pm by Ashley Rey

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What’s so vast and encompassing that it includes historic icons like the Statue of Liberty, cultural treasures like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and awe-inspiring natural wonders like the Grand Canyon? The National Park Service!

With over 400 to choose from, our national parks invite all people to explore them and enjoy transformative, sharable experiences.

The National Park Service will celebrate its centennial anniversary in August 2016, and there is no better way to share this momentous occasion than by taking advantage of the infinite opportunities to explore, learn, be inspired or simply have fun in a national park. From #NoFilterNeeded social media posts to your next viral video, national parks allow you to create experiences worth sharing and recharge your mind.

YouTube influencer, Jess Lizama, couldn’t agree more.

“As a YouTuber, I’m often stuck indoors and behind a computer 24/7 — it’s a requirement for my job. However, another requirement for my job is to be super creative so sometimes I just need to clear my head by going outside, which is why I love exploring the national parks — they’re the perfect way to hit reset,” says Jess.

Of course, you might think that visiting a national park requires traveling far away, but there is actually a national park site in every state. And that means you can visit them easily and often.

But with so much to do, where do you even start? Start by simply getting outside and exploring. Use your time to reconnect with friends and family, or maybe take a solo adventure down a natural, historical or cultural path. These memories and stories will last a lifetime — and the photos and videos you share will inspire others to do the same.

To bring to life everything national park sites and programs have to offer, the National Park Foundation partnered with Mashable to send Lizama out to explore national parks and document her most memorable moments. Then we challenged you to get in on the action and share your memorable experiences in the Find Your Park: Press Play contest.

The contest was part of the larger centennial celebration from the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, which was launched by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation last year. Designed to inspire people from all backgrounds to celebrate and support America’s national parks and community-based programs, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque invites the next generation to connect with national parks across the country.

Curious about what kind of amazing content can be captured inside national parks? Check out the five contest winners — all unique approaches at finding your park, from testing limits outdoors to discovering our nation’s historical roots.

1. Robbie H., of Indiana, shared how his trip to Sequoia National Park with his brother allowed them to reconnect.

2. Valerie P., of Washington, D.C., shared her trip to North Dakota, visiting her 49th state and 83rd national park at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.

3. Eddie R., of Virginia, reflected on his childhood trips to national parks during his 2015 road trip to 13 national parks across 29 states in 31 days.

4. Cole D. and his wife, Elizabeth (also known as the Switchback kids), of Missouri, have taken on the challenge to visit 59 national parks during the centennial year. Their video from Biscayne National Park shows their adventure from the southeast tip of the U.S.

5. Barbara W., of California, shared her family’s first trip up the California coast to Yosemite National Park.

National parks not only tell the story of our nation’s history, they can tell the story of your life too — providing the perfect backdrop for photo albums, YouTube videos, or dinner table tales. We hope you can discover something about yourself while discovering your next great adventure.

Your next story is waiting for you, and it’s closer than you think. So get up, get out there and #FindYourPark! O mejor dicho, #EncuentraTuParque!

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