Natchez park celebrating National Park Week

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

NATCHEZ — The Natchez National Historical Park is celebrating National Park Week until Sunday.

The week — April 17-April 25 — is an annual Presidentially-proclaimed recognition of our National Parks which belong to everyone.

National Parks are living examples of our nation’s shared magnificent natural landscapes and varied cultural heritage. As part of this year’s celebration, Natchez National Historical Park will waive Melrose tour fees today and Sunday. Tours are available every hour on the top of the hour with the first tour beginning at 10 a.m. and the last tour departing at 4 p.m.

In addition, on National Junior Ranger Day Saturday, Park Rangers will conduct programming for children at both Melrose and the William Johnson House. “Free Blacks in Natchez,” a downtown walking tour geared for children ages 11 and up will begin at 10 a.m. at the William Johnson House, 210 State St. in downtown Natchez and will last approximately 60 minutes. At Melrose, children ages 8 to 12 are invited to join park rangers as they demonstrate and play outdoor games of the 1800s. Please bring water and wear appropriate clothing, including comfortable shoes for both programs. The program at Melrose will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children ages 6 to 12 are also encouraged to stop by Melrose or the William Johnson House to pick up a Junior Ranger booklet. After exploring the park and filling out the booklet, they may return it to any Park Ranger and become an official Junior Ranger, receiving a badge and certificate. The Junior Ranger Gazette Magazines are available to anyone.

Those interested in assisting with either of the above volunteer projects at Natchez National Historical Park, please contact Melissa Tynes at 601-431-8050. You may also visit www.nps.gov/natc or call 601-446-5790 for more information on upcoming activities scheduled at the park.