So, what do Bill Nye, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and I have in common? (hint: it’s not just our striking good looks, or our killer wit)

Believe it or not, we are all serving as Centennial Ambassadors with the National Park Service for the next year, promoting our national parks as destinations for recreation, cultural immersion, and American history.

As part of the National Park Service 100 year birthday in 2016, the NPS and National Park Foundation, along with several partners and supporters launched the Find Your Park campaign to celebrate the centennial and to encourage people to get out and find a place that is meaningful to them in the next year.

The Find Your Park movement seeks to spread the word about the amazing places we manage, the inspirational stories that the national parks tell, our country’s natural resources, and our diverse cultural heritage found in the national park system.

Find Your Park is about bringing the national parks boldly into the next 100 years! The National Park Service will be working across communities to develop education programs, work on community assistance projects, and give volunteer groups unique service experience helping to care for their national park resources.

It is estimated that every American lives within 2 hours of a national park. Surprising? I thought so too. One of the most lasting lessons I learned during my Centennial Volunteer Ambassador training was just how diverse the national park system really is. Find Your Park is about discovering ALL of the public land we share. It’s about our state parks, local parks, trails, waterways, lakeshores,  museums, historic sites, and the many ways that the American public can connect with history and culture, enjoy nature, and make new discoveries.

So, there are a couple great ways to be involved with Find Your Park in the coming year.

First, check out to learn about upcoming centennial events near you,view stories that others have shared, and use an interactive map to find your park.

Participate in Find Your Park Experiences to learn, discover, be inspired, or simply enjoy national parks.

And lastly, I would love to learn about where you go this year! Please share your  trips, stories, videos, and pictures with me over the next year, and I will feature them on my personal blog, Tennessee & Me!

I would also really look forward to showing you around Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park in Tennessee and Georgia, so if a southerly wind blows your way, let me know!

To the waters and the wild!

Kendall Gilbert