The National Park Service and its official charity, the National Park Foundation, announced the opening on Thursday of interactive Find Your Park kiosks in New York City, according to a press release on the foundation’s website. As part of a yearlong celebration of the Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the kiosks were built to help the public share stories about their favorite parks and discover new national parks they might want to visit.
“When the National Park System was created in 1916, no one would have imagined that technology could someday enable schoolchildren in New York to explore parks thousands of miles away with the touch of a button,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in the statement. “While we never want a virtual experience to replace a genuine connection, we are hopeful the display will provide a gateway that inspires people to visit their parks and fall in love with the beauty, history, and culture that make up our national parks and public lands.”
The kiosks, which will be available Thursday and Friday in New York’s Flatiron Plaza, will make stops later in April at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and the National Mall in Washington, DC. Users will have access to a brief sampling of all 407 national parks using audio, visual, and geolocation media in an interactive one-minute musical rotation. Visitors are encouraged to share their stories on FindYourPark.com, where NPS Centennial Ambassadors, including Bill Nye and Roselyn Sanchez, are already featured in videos that testify to the beauty and richness of the national parks system.