SANDY HOOK, NJ - The National Park Service (NPS) turns 96 years young on Saturday, August 25. National parks across the country will host special programs celebrating the ongoing legacy of the founders of the NPS. Parking fees will be waived at Gateway National Recreation Area for the day.

“The best birthday present you can give the National Park Service is to visit one of your national parks, explore, enjoy and learn something new,” said Superintendent Linda Canzanelli. “Those of us who work for the NPS are proud to walk in the bootprints of our founding women and men.”

Special Founders Day events include:

•Founders' Day Campfire, Great Kills Park, Staten Island (parking lot G), 7 P.M. Roast marshmallows and listen to live music. For seating, bring a lawnchair or towel.

•7th annual Shorebird Festival, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens, 8:30 A.M. to 5 P.M. Day-long program includes walks and talks at JBWR by many leading bird experts. Program held with NYC Audubon. For more information, call 718-318-9344 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

•Hike trails and identify edible plants, Sandy Hook, N.J. (parking lot M), 9-11 A.M. Cost: $5 per person. Bring binoculars, sunscreen, water and comfortable shoes. Call 732-291-0055 for more information.

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Caption: Savor all that Gateway has to offer this Saturday---even edible plants, like these beach plums at Sandy Hook. NPS PHOTO