Press Release Jun 12, 2015

Celebrating our Veterans on Flag Day at Gateway National Recreation Area

National Find Your Voice Initiative Hosts Paddling Event to Honor Veterans and their Families at Jamaica Bay

Brooklyn, New York – On Flag Day, Sunday, June 14, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) will host our partners at Sebago Canoe Club and Wounded Warrior Project® from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm for a paddling event at Jamaica Bay in Gateway National Recreation Area. Sunday’s event is one of 10 signature Find Your Voice activities aimed at helping to inspire people to advocate for America’s favorite places – an especially timely goal as the centennial of the National Park System approaches in 2016.

“We look forward to hosting and celebrating New York’s veterans with fun activities planned at Jamaica Bay, an outdoor oasis from the city’s urban core,” said Cortney Worrall, Northeast regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “We hope this event encourages all to come back to enjoy Jamaica Bay in Gateway for paddling, wildlife walks, hiking, fishing, swimming, camping and much more.”

To show appreciation and to celebrate our brave men and women veterans, the fun-filled “Find Your Voice” activities will include a paddling tour of Jamaica Bay at Gateway National Recreation Area. Together, participants will glide through the salt marshes of Jamaica Bay while enjoying the Manhattan skyline views from New York City’s urban national park, and one of the nation’s most visited national park sites. Additionally, participants may also enjoy a short nature walk along Jamaica Bay and learn more from park rangers and local experts about native wildlife found in the park and in the bay.

“America’s national parks will celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2016. Now is the time to speak up for what has been called America’s “Best Idea,” added Worrall. “Today is a day for fun and relaxation in the nation’s largest urban national park however, it is our hope that participants walk away from the day-long activities feeling inspired and better connected to Gateway and Jamaica Bay.”

Sunday’s activities are one of 10 signature #FindYourVoice events across the country through the spring and summer, leading up to the start of the National Park System’s centennial year on August 25. These will include advocacy trainings, volunteer and clean up events in or near some of America’s most beautiful places. Join the movement and follow the conversation online with #FindYourVoice. The Find Your Voice initiative will expand over the course of the next five years, reaching its peak in 2019 when NPCA celebrates its own 100th anniversary.

“Sebago members are a very dedicated group with diverse interests and abilities and we are particularly excited about celebrating Flag Day with Veterans and their families,” said Howard Alfred, Sebago Canoe Club member. “Jamaica Bay is a hidden gem that not many people know and this event features not only water based activities, but also on-land family oriented programs that focus on educating others about our natural environment.”

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About the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA): Together with our one million members and supporters, NPCA speaks for America’s national parks. Since our founding in 1919, NPCA has been an independent, nonpartisan voice working to strengthen and protect our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage. Learn more at www.npca.org.