This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

“As an agency, it started in 1916 and with it being 100 years in existence, we’d like to celebrate the places we have and keep preserving new things,” said Dena Matteson, public information officer for Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR). NPS logo-100

The park system as a whole is pushing a focus on celebrating 100 years in some form or fashion, and it is up to each park to decide what it wants to do to celebrate.

“The anniversary theme is ‘Find Your Park’ and for us we will be doing a series of workshops once a month to celebrate the 100th anniversary,” said Matteson.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways has 30 different events scheduled throughout this year.

“We will be having our events at different locations at the park and the goal is to just get people to come to the park, get outdoors, and try something they may never have thought to try before,” said Matteson.

There will be learning experiences and then events where people actually get to engage in activities.

“We came up with these ideas with just our staff brainstorming,” said Matteson. “There are so many different things that you can do here at our park… to have them come for one time and at one part of the park.”

All of the events being held will be held at the park, just in different locations. The events will be held when it’s the best weather to hold those activities.

“We will have a mixture of staff teaching and bringing experts in to demonstrate and teach people how to do these events,” said Matteson. ONSR cleanup

According to Matteson, some of these people will be volunteers, some will be experts.

“We have a lot of our staff here that are considered experts in the things they enjoy doing, so we will have a lot of staff doing events,” said Matteson.

The idea of hosting the events year-long was presented in November 2015 and the park really started working on it in January.

“We didn’t really get all ‘gung ho’ on the events until I hired two more employees. That’s when things really took off,” said Matteson.

Every event that will be held is free, although some events require pre-registration just to know how many people will be attending.

“All of our events are open to the public, but some of our events are limited on attendance,” said Matteson.

Some of the events that need pre-registration and/or are limited include the photo shoot workshop (12 people), birdwatching (30 people), fishing clinic (12 people), discovery hike (20 people), exploration hike (15 people), and the paddle clinic only requires pre-registration.

“All of the events will be able to be seen on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways website very soon,” said Matteson.

The Ozark Trail Association will be working with ONSR to help sponsor the 100 mile challenge.

“We can guarantee that we have at least one event that will interest you and we hope you can come out to as many events as you can,” said Matteson.