Guest column: Park centennial on the horizon
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - As the end of the year approaches and I begin to think about the New Year and what 2015 will bring, I always take a moment to reflect on what a special opportunity we all have to live and work at one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I am also reminded how lucky Grand Canyon National Park is to be part of a community that cares so much about the park, the resources it protects, and providing our 4.5 million visitors each year with an amazing and un-paralleled experience.
Looking forward, I am excited be leading a team of park employees and community partners in planning for the National Park Service Centennial in 2016 and not long after that the 2019 Centennial of Grand Canyon National Park.
While the National Park Service Centennial doesn't officially begin until January 2016, we will begin to kick-off the celebration in 2015 and I hope that if you haven't already joined us in preparing for this two year celebration that you will consider this an open invitation to join us now.
The 2015 kick-off and on-going party is our opportunity to welcome the next generation of visitors to not only Grand Canyon, but to the National Park Service and all public lands. While we are busy engaging that next generation of visitors, I don't want us to forget about those who already have strong connections with our national park system. I hope that as a larger community we continue to create wonderful memories and opportunities for all of our visitors, old and new.
The National Park Service created a Centennial Goal for parks and partners to aspire towards: "to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates." I ask each of you to think about this goal and how we can incorporate it into our individual, business, and community New Year's resolutions. This goal extends beyond the National Park Service Centennial and can help guide us towards Grand Canyon National Park's Centennial in 2019. I know that both Centennials will be filled with wonderful activities, programs, and special events hosted right here in our community.
As we all work together to create this next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates let's not forget what has drawn us to this and other majestic places. During 2015 take time to create new memories, refresh old ones, share your story, and help all people find what makes Grand Canyon special to them.
Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season,
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