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Park Service marks 98th birthday with free admission, cake

Lake Mead National Recreation Area will celebrate the 98th birthday of the National Park Service Monday by waiving its $10 entrance fee. Birthday cake also will be available at the visitor center, starting at 1 p.m.

“It’s a fun time at Lake Mead National Recreation Area,” said Patrick Gubbins, deputy superintendent. “We’re celebrating the park’s 50th anniversary along with the founding of the National Park Service. We want everyone to join the party.”

At the visitor center, guests can explore the botanical gardens, see a relief map of the park and learn about the park from exhibits. Another attraction is the award-winning park film, “Life in the Desert.” It is shown every 30 minutes in the auditorium and is now available on DVD in the park store. The gift shop also will offer 15 percent off select items.

For 50 more things to do at the park, visit http://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/fifty-things-to-do-at-lake-mead.htm.

In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park. There were 37 national parks in the United States when President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to create the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 1916.

Today, there are 401 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders. Plan your visit at www.nps.gov.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area was established in 1964 as the National Park Service’s first national recreation area to preserve the recreation potential and scenic, historic, scientific and other important features of the area. Last year, more than 6 million visitors enjoyed the site and added $260 million to the local economy and supported nearly 3,000 area jobs.

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