Park official: Shenandoah ‘excited’ about new campaign

It might still be 2015, but the National Park Service is starting its 2016 centennial celebration early through the unveiling of a new campaign called “Find Your Park.”

Karen Beck-Herzog, public affairs officer for Shenandoah National Park, said the park is “really excited” about the campaign, which is set to commence Thursday, as well as the chance to “connect to new audiences.”

“Sometimes people don’t even know about all of the national parks that are out there,” Beck-Herzog added. “We’re excited to introduce ourselves to … younger audiences.”

Attracting new or younger audiences, Beck-Herzog said, is important because “it takes more than just the employees of a national park to … keep it protected.

We have to have an audience that loves the national parks and wants to see them protected.”

In a large sense, starting the centennial celebration early with the campaign was an effort to raise awareness, Beck-Herzog said.

On top of awareness, Beck-Herzog said that the other aspect of the centennial celebration will be looking to enhance and continue their “stewardship” of park land.

Beck-Herzog said each of the park’s partners — the National Park Service Trusts and Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, for example — will be “part of the celebration and how we look at the next 100 years of he National Park Service.”

This will include, Beck-Herzog said, continuing and enhancing established park programs like its youth summer camps as well as “working with a Big Brother/Big Sister group” from Charlottesville.

“We’re looking at programs that we can develop and continue,” Beck-Herzog said.

To that effect, Beck-Herzog said the park will be announcing its plans and goals for the centennial celebration in April. She said that goals are “pretty much finalized” and are similar to the goals of the park service.

“It’s not just a one-year celebration … we’re going to continue to look at it all the way through [2017] and beyond,” Beck-Herzog said.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or