Twenty national parks from throughout the West joined Western National Parks Association in mid-March at the National Parks Pavilion at the Tucson Festival of Books. WNPA, the Tucson-based cooperating association affiliated with 66 parks, sponsored the pavilion.
The annual festival on the University of Arizona campus, held to support area literacy programs, is one of the largest book festivals in the country. The pavilion occupied the entire plaza in front of the University of Arizona main library.
The diverse crowd, estimated at 90,000 over two glorious spring days, ranged from toddlers to teenagers, college students to retirees.
“We saw the family-friendly festival as an opportunity to showcase the richness of our national parks,” said WNPA executive director James Cook. He noted that the festival was a perfect fit with President Obama’s Great American Outdoors initiative with its focus on bringing the great outdoors to urban areas.
“The enthusiastic participation by the staffs from so many national park sites was awesome and inspiring,” Cook said.
In the days following the event, visitors to nearby national parks reported their interest was fueled by what they learned about the parks at the festival.
NPS rangers and park volunteers manned the booths, answering a flood of questions from festival attendees and offering hands-on activities related to interpretation at their parks. The pavilion gave peer NPS interpreters the opportunity to work, learn, and interact with each other in an uplifting environment.
NPS participants in the National Parks Pavilion included the following:
Bandelier National Monument
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument
Coronado National Memorial
Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Fort Larned National Historic Site
Golden Spike National Historic Site
Grand Canyon National Park
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
Juan Batista de Anza National Historic Trail
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Petrified Forest National Park
Saguaro National Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
NPS Southern Arizona Office
Tuzigoot National Monument
Western Archeological Conservation Center
WNPA, participating in the festival for the third time, hosted author book signings, scheduled talks and music in the pavilion stage tent, and offered for sale a large selection of books and products related to the national parks.
Click on the link below to view photos of the event
For more information, contact Scott Aldridge, WNPA Chief Operations Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 520-622-1999.