NPS story contest ongoing; CNMI finally gets to join


National Park Services is gearing up for its centennial celebration in 2016 and, for the first time ever, the CNMI will be part of the festivities, with Commonwealth residents now able to share their experiences at the American Memorial Park.

NPS, in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, has announced a two-year effort involving broad public engagement that includes the territories starting this year until Aug. 25, 2016, with a special contest called “Find Your Park,” where the community can share their stories of the CNMI’s own parks.

This effort allows CNMI residents to talk about the park in any way they want to. Stories can be submitted as a song or photo, painting, poem, dance, video, or anything that would share the importance of the park.

Entries can be submitted online at Deadline is before 8pm ET Sept. 7, 2015, and only those ages 14 and older are allowed to join. Of the thousands of people submitting entries, only 250 will be selected, for final winnowing of the best 100 stories. Public voting for the best entries will be hosted this Oct. 5 and Oct. 16.

The top 5 will become part of NPS’ Centennial Ambassadors, where the winners’ stories will inspire famous people to create a project of their own. They are actresses Bella Thorne and Rosely Sanchez, scientist Bill Nye, TV personality Terrence J., and singer-song writer Mary Lambert.

The top 5 will also win prizes, which include two VIP tickets and travel to the centennial celebration next year, two yearly National Park passes, an REI Adventures for two (this includes seven trips that winners can chose from to visit among famous National Parks), a Subaru Adventure kit, limited-edition Subaru national parks Rendleton blanket, a Yakima Skybox 16 LTD, Coleman Tenaya Lake 6P Fast Pitch Cabin, one Find Your Park gear price package and $500 Subaru gear gift card.

Prizes for the 45 first place winners include two VIP tickets to the centennial celebration, two yearly National Park passes, limited-edition Subaru national parks Pendleton blanket, Coleman 54-qt steel belted cooler, and one Find Your Park gear price package.

For the 50 second place winners, prizes include a Coleman 1000 Lumen CPX 6 lantern and one Find Your Park gear prize package.

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) earlier said the CNMI was able to get involved after he and his colleagues in Congress pushed the fact that they have national parks in their respective jurisdictions.

“The centenary is a fitting time to raise public awareness about the value of our parks. The Park Service also has plans such as growing the 21st Century Conservation Corps that puts youths to work in our parks—that will inspire the next generation of park stewards, so our National Parks can endure for another 100 years,” Sablan said.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at

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