WYOMING STATE PARKS HOSTS “LET’S CAMP AMERICA!”

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The Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails  will participate in the National Association of State Park Directors’ (NASPD) LET’S CAMP AMERICA! Initiative with special events on May 7 and September 24.

The “LET’S CAMP AMERICA!” initiative promotes the vitality, affordability and accessibility of camping in the nearly 230,000 camping sites across America’s State Parks.

In conjunction with the May 7 celebration, Wyoming State Parks has partnered with Sonny’s RV in Casper. Glendo State Park has provided Sonny’s with six gift certificates to be given to the first six Wyoming customers to purchase an RV on May 7.

These gift certificates can be used toward the purchase of Annual Day Use and Annual Camping permits that can be used at any Wyoming State Park during 2016.

“LET’S CAMP AMERICA! presents an ideal way for Wyoming State Parks to showcase a vast array of camping and outdoor recreational resources.

As part of the initiative Wyoming State Parks issues an all-inclusive invitation to first time campers and camping enthusiasts to create their own “camping moments” and then to come back often.

“America’s State Parks chose the early and late September dates to highlight the wonderful and new experiences camping during the Spring and Autumn can provide,”Domenic Bravo, NASPD President and WYOPARKS administrator said. “From tents to RV’s and yurts to tree houses, camping at a Wyoming State Park will leave you with unique and lasting memories.”

LET’S CAMP AMERICA! leverages the resources inherent in each State Park system designed to help campers determine where, what and how to camp.  Additionally, the initiative connects all 50 State Park systems to their neighbors as most State Parks are close to home.

LET’S CAMP AMERICA! is about building outdoor moments with family and friends close to home.  America’s State Parks are primed and ready to create America’s next camping generation.

Public Invited to Comment on Hot Springs Master Plan

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Wyoming State Parks would like to remind the public that public comments are being accepted on the draft Hot Springs State Park Master Plan. 

Copies of the draft plan are available for review at Hot Springs County Library, Fremont County Library –Riverton, Hot Springs State Park Headquarters and at hotspringsmasterplan.com.

All comments need to be submitted in writing. As a convenience, the public can access comment cards at the Hot Springs County Library, Hot Springs County Courthouse, the Thermopolis Chamber of Commerce, Thermopolis City Hall, Hot Springs State Park Headquarters and the Bath House within the Park or Fremont County Library in Riverton.

The public can also view the Master Plan and provide written comments electronically by visiting the masterplan website at hotspringsmasterplan.com.

Comments can also be mailed to Wyoming State Park Headquarters, Attention Todd Thibodeau, Barrett Building, Fourth Floor, 2301 Central Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82002.

Comments will be accepted through June 6. Additionally, State Park staff will be available to discuss the plan at a community open house scheduled for May 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Thermopolis Fire Hall.

For questions regarding the masterplan and the public comment process, please call Todd Thibodeau at (307) 777-6418.

Wyoming State Parks Division Enjoys Record Setting Year

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With final visitation numbers tabulated for the 2015 season, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails recorded an 8% increase in visitation for the year – a third straight record-setting year for the Division in the Cowboy State.

However, the visitation numbers only tell a portion of the tale for 2015.  Revenue generation was at an all-time high with a 10% increase over 2014.

In addition, 2015 was an award-winning year for the Division. The Division was one of four state park systems to be named a finalist for the National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal award for excellence. Four Snowmobile trails were once again named “Best in the West.”  The Division’s Law Enforcement Program won the Platinum Award from the Park Law Enforcement Association. Seven Parks and Historic Sites received the TripAdvisor Award of Excellence.

Last year was also the third consecutive year State Parks facilitated the internationally recognized Rev3 Cowboy Tough Adventure race.

To cap it off, Governor Mead was recognized for his support of Wyoming recreation, including Wyoming State Parks, as he was awarded the prestigious Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award from the American Recreation Coalition.

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Wyoming State Parks also added new programming which included a Capital Campout aimed at a bilingual audience and assisted in establishing a “Youth Outdoor Bill of Rights” in cooperation with the public/private coalition, WY Outside.

“The amazing people in the state of Wyoming are the secret to our success” said Domenic Bravo, State Parks Historic Sites and Trails administrator. “The staff, our visitors, our partners, Governor Mead and the Wyoming State Legislature are a major reason we are recognized as one of the top state park systems in the country.”

With the beginning of the new year there are exciting memories waiting for you in Wyoming State Parks please stay up to date by visiting our website, wyoparks.org or by following us on our many social media channels.

Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition reception scheduled February 11

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Some of Wyoming’s finest artists will be recognized as Gov. Matt Mead makes the Purchase Award presentations during the 2015 Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition reception at the Wyoming State Museum Thursday, February 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The works of 36 Wyoming artists are included in this year’s Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition and Sale. Now in its 16th year, the juried exhibition will be on display January 5 through March 7, at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne.

Works receiving Purchase Awards join this growing collection of prestigious art. The state’s five elected officials and representatives from other state agencies participating in the program select the Purchase Award winners.

Works receiving People’s Choice Award, Governor’s Choice Award and Bobby Hathaway Juror’s Choice Award will also be announced during the reception. The Bobby Hathaway Juror’s Choice Award was created in honor of former First Lady Bobby Hathaway who helped establish the WY Arts Council.

Sponsors of the Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition and reception are Anadarko Petroleum, Nagle Warren Mansion, and Walmart Foundation.

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. The State Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, please contact Mark Brammer at (307)777-8021.

Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition on display at State Museum

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The Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition and Sale is on display through March 7 at the Wyoming State Museum.

The juried show is an annual competition for Wyoming Artists. This year, 42 works by 36 regional artists appear in the show. All of the artworks are available for sale.

Artists receiving Purchase Awards will be announced by Governor Matthew H. Mead at a public reception on February 11 from 5 – 7 p.m. Established in 2000, the Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition and Sale celebrates the work of Wyoming artists. Works receiving purchase awards join a growing collection of prestigious art that is displayed in the offices of Wyoming’s statewide elected officials. Monies realized from additional sales are utilized to purchase works for the permanent art collection of the Wyoming State Museum.

Artworks receiving Purchase Awards join a special collection of regional art displayed in state business offices.

Artists selected for this  year’s show include Gerald Antolik (Hudson), Elizabeth Applbaum (Dallas, TX), Joe Arnold ( Laramie), Mack Brislawn (Laramie), Ginny Butcher (Evansville), Catherine Cardarelli (Hulett), Sonja Caywood (Dayton), Mike Conaway (Evanston), Alissa Davies (Jackson), Jenny Dowd (Alpine), Tom Ford (Gillette), Lynette Fransen (Casper), Jerry Glass (Laramie), Mike Gualdoni (Pavillion), Martin Hagen (Jackson), and Daniel Hayward (Laramie).

Also included are Joy Jones (Riverton), Joy Keown (Laramie), Robert Kirkwood (Laramie), Todd Kosharek (Jackson), Linda Lillegraven (Laramie), Carol Lucas (Ranchester), Robert Martinez (Riverton), Scott Mooney (Gillette), Chris Navarro (Casper), Lynn Newman (Cheyenne), Rachel Ondrak (Cheyenne), Do Palma (Cheyenne), Michael Plourde (Buffalo), Allison Pluda (Laramie), Edie Reno (Gillette), Tamara Rodgers (Cheyenne), Georgia Rowswell (Cheyenne), Valerie Seaberg (Jackson), Edward Sherline (Laramie), and Richard Tambor (Jackson).

This program is managed by the Wyoming State Museum. Questions should be directed to Mark Brammer, mark.brammer@wyo.gov, 307-777-8021.

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. The State Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wyoming State Park First Day Hikes

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In what is becoming an increasingly popular New Year’s Day activity, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails provides “First Day Hikes” – a perfect way for Wyoming residents to celebrate the New Year outdoors.

Eleven New Year’s Day guided hikes held at state park and historic site venues statewide will be held in conjunction with similar hikes held in all 50 states; a part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. Also, this year, First Day Hikes is a nationwide kickoff to the National Park Service’s 100 year anniversary. As part of that partnership, uniformed National Park Service staff will participate in some of the First Day Hike events.

Also this year, participants in this year’s hikes have an opportunity to win a Mountain Hardware Micro Ratio Down Jacket or State Parks and Historic Sites Annual Day Use permits. Each venue will give-away a day use permit, and names of all participants will be included in a January 15 drawing for the jacket.

This is the fifth consecutive year Wyoming is offering the First Day Hikes program.  Last year, 327 people participated hiking more than 460 total miles.

“We are excited to welcome folks to hike with us on the first of the year in one of our many amazing parks” said Domenic Bravo “Wyoming’s winter majesty is always a great way to start off your year.”

Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park or historic site. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website.  Visit www.naspd.org to find a First Day Hike nearest you.

In Wyoming, hikes will be offered at the following locations and times:

Bear River State Park – Short 2.5 mile nature hike along the Bear River.  Hike distance will vary upon participant’s abilities.  Meet at the Visitor Center.  Begin at10 a.m.

Curt Gowdy State Park – Up to four mile hike on a trail to be determined. Meet at Aspen Grove Trail head at 1 p.m.

Edness K. Wilkins State Park – There will be two walks.  One will be wheelchair accessible and the other will be on natural surface on the nature trail. Each 2 miles.  Begin at 10 a.m.

Fort Bridger State Historic Site – one mile hike/walk around the historic site. Meet at entrance booth at 1 p.m. The hike is mostly level with no inclines.

Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site – up to two-mile hike, meet at bridge tender’s house parking lot at 10 a.m.

Glendo State Park – Two mile hike beginning at the Dam Overlook Trail Head. Meet at 10 a.m.

Guernsey State Park – 1.5 – 2 mile hike, start at 10 a.m.

Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site – 1.25 mile hike on Nature Trail and park road.  Meet in main parking area at 10 a.m. Sneak peak at new visitor center displays and exhibits.

Keyhole State Park –  starting at the Headquarters building and hiking to the Tatanka group shelter and back (approximately 1 mile) 10 a.m.

Sinks Canyon – Sinks Canyon hike will start at the Nature Trail Parking Lot in the Popo Agie Campground and proceed approximately 2 miles along the Canyon Loop trail.  The start time will 10 a.m.  Refreshments will be served in the Sage Yurt in Popo Agie Campground upon completion.

Tail End State Historic Site –Visitors and their leashed pets are invited to meet at the East Entrance to the Kendrick Mansion (400 Clarendon Avenue) for a brisk urban hike through Sheridan’s historic Nielsen Heights neighborhood. The hike should take about an hour and will end at the Kendrick Mansion for hot beverages and light snacks.

Participants of all hikes are urged to wear adequate clothing, coffee and hot chocolate will be provided, Bonn Fire at most locations, this is a kids and family friendly event, entry fee to participating parks will be waived.  Leashed dogs are welcome.  All events are subject to change.

RSVPs are requested but not required. Please RSVP by emailing Paul.Gritten@wyo.gov.

WYOutside, a coalition of public and private organizations with a shared stake in promoting recreation to children and families, is a sponsor of the First Day Hikes.

For more information, please call the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails at 777-6323.

State Parks accepts NPS “Every Kid in a Park” free admission pass

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In celebration of the National Park Service’s 100 year anniversary, the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails is participating in the “Every Kid in a Park” campaign, a program that provides every fourth-grade student nationwide and their family free admission to more than 2,000 National Parks, as well as state parks and historic sites in the Cowboy State.

The Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails in partnership with the Wyoming Office of Tourism, Wyoming Department of Education and other state and federal partners have produced and distributed coloring books to Wyoming fourth graders.

These coloring books include a sticker to be affixed to the National Parks’ “Every Kid in a Park” pass. This pass can then be used for admission to any of Wyoming’s State Parks, Historic Sites or recreation areas. The passes are available at www.everykidinapark.gov.

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The stickers are also available at SPHST visitor centers, fee booths and headquarters at 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne.

To take advantage of the Every Kid in a Park program the following rules apply:

Any fourth-grade (or home-school equivalent) student may use their “Every Kid in a Park” pass for free admission to all Wyoming state parks, historic sites and recreation areas.

The official “Wyoming State Parks 2015-16” hologram sticker must be affixed to the national pass.

Passes are accepted only when the fourth-grade pass holder is present.

All passes expire August 31, 2016.

Passes are good for free entrance/daily use fees, but do not cover additional fees such as camping, amenities, rentals, etc. or applied towards campsite reservations.

Historic Sites: free entrance for all children younger than 16 and up to three adults.

State Parks and recreation areas: free entrance/daily use for one vehicle, not valid for commercial vehicles.

Passes are non-transferrable.

Electronic versions of the pass will not be accepted, passes must be printed.

For more information, please contact Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails at 307-777-6323 or visit wyoparks.state.wy.us.