In 2016, the National Park Service will turn 100 years old. To celebrate the milestone, NPS and the National Park Foundation are trying to inject a little youth into the country’s public lands with the Find Your Park campaign. And it’s getting a boost from an outdoor advertising group.
Ahead of next year’s centennial celebration for the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation—the official nonprofit partner of NPS—is busy drumming up attention for America’s natural wonders. Specifically, NPF wants tech-savvy millennials to get back in touch with the great outdoors.
While we never want a virtual experience to replace a genuine connection, we are hopeful the display will provide a gateway that inspires people to visit their parks
To do that, NPF and NPS launched the Find Your Park campaign last week. Built around an engaging website, the campaign aims to bring the country’s 407 national parks to the people in the hope that these virtual visitors will be inspired to get out and visit the real thing.
“When the National Park System was created in 1916, no one would have imagined that technology could someday enable schoolchildren in New York to explore parks thousands of miles away with the touch of a button,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement. “While we never want a virtual experience to replace a genuine connection, we are hopeful the display will provide a gateway that inspires people to visit their parks and fall in love with the beauty, history, and culture that make up our national parks and public lands.”
The webpage includes a one-minute video tour of all of the parks (below), testimonials from “centennial ambassadors” like Michelle Obama and Bill Nye, an area where people can share their favorite park stories, and information on visiting, volunteering at, and supporting national parks.
A Virtual View
NPF and NFS also hit the road on a nationwide tour with Find Your Park Virtual View Kiosks that will offer visitors the opportunity to interact with the parks.
“There are diverse parks and historic sites across the nation, and with each stop on the Find Your Park Virtual View Tour, we’re connecting them with more Americans than ever before,” NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in the statement. “Tap the screen and within seconds you’ll be speaking with a ranger or park visitor at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming or at Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia, and exploring what the park has to offer in real time.”
The tour kicked off in Times Square on April 2 and will include stops at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument (April 9-10) and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC (April 16-17).
To help publicize the tour and the Find Your Park campaign, NPF partnered with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. The two-year public awareness effort will include vibrant display ads on digital billboards, at bus stops, and on buses throughout the country. The media space was donated by OAAA and the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry.
“OOH is the ideal medium to bring visually stunning images of landscapes and monuments to the American people, some of whom are likely learning about their national parks for the first time,” OAAA President and CEO Nancy Fletcher said in a statement. “The OOH industry is honored to be a part of this historic campaign and to help all generations find their park.”