National Park areas around the country are celebrating National Park Week from Saturday, April 20, 2013 through Sunday, April 28, 2013. Fees will be waived at all parks from April 22 through April 26. Many park areas are holding special events for National Junior Ranger Day on April 20, Earth Day on April 22 and National Park Service Volunteer Day on April 27.
The theme for the week is “Did you know…?” Did you know that Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Western Nebraska is one of 401 National Park areas across the country? These areas were created to preserve and protect natural areas as well as historically and culturally important places. Education is an important focus for the National Parks. Physical field trips to the parks are important hands-on experiences for young people and many parks are developing distance learning programs so that students from one area of the country can learn about a park and its resources many hours away.
Other National Park areas in Nebraska include: Scotts Bluff National Monument near Gering, Nebraska; Homestead National Monument near Beatrice, Nebraska; Missouri National Recreational River and Niobrara National Scenic River as well as these National Historic Trails—California, Lewis & Clark, Mormon Pioneer, Oregon and Pony Express.
During National Park Week make a point to visit your favorite National Park or visit one you have never been to before; learn more about “Did you know…?”
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located just 22 miles south of Harrison, or 34 miles north of Mitchell, Nebraska, on State Highway 29. To reach the visitor center, turn east on River Road and drive three miles. The visitor center is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Agate Fossil Beds is a free park. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/agfo or visit Agate Fossil Beds on Facebook.