Glen Jean, West Virginia — New River Gorge National Park and Preserve joins with parks across the country and the National Park Foundation to celebrate National Park Week, April 16 to 24. Special events, programs, and digital experiences in celebration of this presidentially proclaimed week will be offered at many of the 423 national park sites. Although New River Gorge National Park and Preserve does not have an entrance fee, parks that do charge will waive that fee on April 16 to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy their national parks.
In celebration of National Park Week, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve announces the upload of the park’s museum collection online at https://go.nps.gov/NERICollection Anyone with internet access is now able to learn more about the prehistoric and industrial past of New River Gorge communities by examining objects that have been preserved in our collections. Check out a miner’s belt designed for self-rescue, a fossil from when the entire gorge was an underwater home to marine life, and even a Native American hammerstone used to prepare food 500+ years ago. Travel to the past by exploring the pictures and written descriptions of 5,706 cultural artifacts that reveal our nations’ stories.
On Wednesday, April 20, from 12:30-4:00 pm at the Mount Hope Post Office, the public is invited to watch Cultural Resource Program Manager David Fuerst clean a 1942 mural of early 20th century coal miners in an effort to restore the painting to its appearance 80 years ago. This event highlights the opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s Crossroads: Change in Rural Americaexhibit at the historic Cottle Mountainair Hotel, 401 Main Street. The exhibit is hosted by Harmony of Hope and is free to the public from April 22 to May 30.
The park will also be continuing to display the winning art for the Youth Arts in the Parks Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest both at Tamarack Marketplace and online at www.nps.gov/neri/youth-arts-in-the-parks.htm. This display features the artwork of local student artists grades K-12 from Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers counties.
For more on National Park Week and other events, follow the park on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Activities and park alerts can also be found on the park website at www.nps.gov/neri.
Photo caption: Michael Lenson’s 1942 “Mining” mural in the Mount Hope Post Office (photographer, David N. Fuerst).