Lake Mead joins National Park Service’s birthday gala with free admission

Lake Mead National Recreation Area and U.S. parks will celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th birthday Aug. 25 with events held across the country, including in Southern Nevada.

Lake Mead will be involved in events at the Alan Bible Visitor Center outside of Boulder City as well as in Arizona, Los Angeles and at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas.

Rangers will host a founder’s day celebration at the visitor center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where, according to Lake Mead representative Chelsea Kennedy, there will be live desert animals, kids activities, junior ranger books and nature journaling.

“The nature journaling will be one of the highlights, inspired by John Muir who was a really influential preservationist and one of the founders of the national parks,” Kennedy said. “It will be a workshop that teaches people about the Muir style of nature journaling and gives them a chance to explore and test it out.”

She also thinks that attendees will really enjoy the live animals and the “hands-on touch table,” where they will be able to interact with pieces of the environment and learn about the ecosystem, exploring local vegetation and wildlife.

“We focus so much on activities that appeal to young people because we really want to cultivate the next generation of parkgoers,” Kennedy said. “Our goal is to help build the network that will support our national parks for the next 100 years.”

To complete the party, there will be a cake cutting at noon to celebrate the Park Service’s centennial.

In honor of the Park Service’s birthday, Aug. 25 also kicks off four fee-free days, as there will be no entry charges through Aug. 28. Although admission is free, charges for camping, lake use and concessions still apply.

“It’s the perfect weekend to get out and experience something new. This entire year our mission has been to raise awareness and to get people to find their park,” Kennedy said. “We want to get people who may not otherwise experience the parks to come out and see how much there is to offer. Find a special getaway, have an adventure, the parks offer something unique to each person.”

Lake Mead will send out information on upcoming events through social media, according to Kennedy, where they are available to connect with people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as Lake Mead NPS.

The local celebration is part of a nationwide observance, with free admission at all 412 national parks. Details can be found at

Contact reporter Hunter Terry at hterry@ or call 702-586-6711. Follow him on Twitter @HunterBCReview

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