Inspired by many of my other Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors I decided I would travel a day though out my park and try to complete as many items on the 99 Ways to #FindYourPark as possible within Independence National Historical Park. You can check out the full list here: (http://findyourpark.com/nps99)
My day started out by completeing #3 Be an Urban Hiker by #36 Hitting the Road. I personally choose to walk but some have preferences to #74 Running or #38 Go Biking. Below is a picture of me trying to complete #25 Walking on a historic main street…the streets is not a ‘main’ street but it is historic! Also remember to #67 Plan ahead and prepare by #46 bringing water!
The First Place I went was to the Independence Visitor Center where I got information of the park and the surrounding areas. Such as how easy it is to #4 Visit the Schuykill Waterway National Heritage Area where you can complete #15 by relaxing on the banks of a scenic river, #8 experience silience, #1 go climbing, #95 go wild-experience wilderness, #98 take a sunrise selfie, and at night time #79 see the starry sky away from the Philadelphia nightly glow. The Visitor Center is also where people can #26 Find their park in Spanish and multiple other languages as well!
It is also here that a person will find can #72 stamp their National Park Passport with 10…that’s right 10 passport stamps! This is because Independence NHP runs 9 other sites in the city of Philadelphia! So get out there and do #82 Discover the beauty of our nation’s other public lands!
Of course lets not forget to collect some National Park Trading Cards!!! I was lucky this time because all of mine let me complete #81 by sharing a #tbt photos of Independence NHP!From here I went to the Liberty Bell Center where I #23 tried something new and #13 Made a memory by #22 taking a retrogram of when the Liberty Bell was hung by 13 chain-links (to symbolize the original colonies) from the ceiling of Independence Hall.
While there I went to our special exhibit on the path toward liberty women took in order to make it possible for women to vote in the present day. This helped me to #70 recognize women who made history.
Right outside the Liberty Bell Center is the President’s House Site where people can #75 See history from a different perspective and #89 Travel the Underground Railroad by learning about George Washington’s slaves that he had while President in Philadelphia.
While there I found these footprints that lead out of the floor-plan of the President’s House. To #45 Follow the footsteps of a woman who made history; they symbolize Oney Judge, the only woman slave of Washington’s to run away while he was in Philadelphia. #71 Reflect on our most difficult stories.After finishing my water I brought I #28 went Green and recycled and #87 trashed my granola bar trash. Then I #7 discovered a culture new to my own and #5 Danced with #62 new friends with Independence Hall as our backdrop!!! Of which is in one of my favorite movies the National Treasure! #55 Get reel- visit a park featured in your favorite movie…checkmark!
After dancing I decided to slow things down and go on some tours! First I went to Independence Hall and found #88 Found a Monument of George Washington! Thus completing #65 Pick a POTUS (President of the United States). Plus this is a great place to #69 pose for a family photo.Then I #9 Walked though a doorway of a historic house! This one was to enter the Todd House where I #18 Got inspired by First Lady Dolly Todd, whom was married to President Madison.
At the Todd house I got to go on a #11 Ranger-led tour and got to take a picture of a #Rangerpointingatthings while #61 Discovering the history around me.Once outside again I had to #90 Use the buddy system and asked a Park Ranger to #12 Hug a tree for me! Which I’ve been told is a great way to #76 Renew your spirit.
After I went for a walk in the 18th Century Garden and found a bunch of cute Bubble Bees! A great time to remember to #47 Bee pollinator friendly! I tired to take a picture of one (shown below) but they move so fast! #93 Watch for Wildlife!! Also I tried to #94 take a deep breathe to smell all the fragrant flowers. I then decided it was time to head back inside so I meandered over to the Benjamin Franklin Museum. There I ran into one of the Parks SCA Volunteer Interpretation Interns Daniel! Remember to #84 Spread the love-and thank a park volunteer!Daniel also reminded me to look out for Skuggs, the museum squirrell mascot! Skuggs is perfect if you #20 bring a kid to the park! Skuggs is throughout the museum to help children #97 play and interact with the exhibits in order to learn and #16 celebrate innovation. Not to mention the mesuem definitely helped to inspire me to #24 channel my inner Bill Nye and Ben Franklin by becoming a citizen scientist!
Once I cooled off a bit I headed over to the Printing Office where there are 18th Century printing presses that the Rangers use daily for demonstrations. Here I found a letter from Abigail Adams to her husband John Adams about men. Here someone could be inspired to #31 make art in the park by #2 writing poetry or to go next door to the historical post office and #60 mail a postcard.
Throughout my day I learned a lot and was actually filling out my own Junior Ranger booklet so I could #14 earn my own Junior Ranger badge! After all that I ate my lunch and #34 dined al fresco.
So to help me out: Do #44 and Follow NPS on social media. Take time for #41 and share your story! Visit us and #99 get ready to celebrate with us in 2016!! Finally #43 Join us by #48 Getting VIP (Volunteer-In-Parks) status!