Help CapeWomenOnline Celebrate 50 years of the Cape Cod National Seashore

Sunset at Race Point, Provincetown, by Katie O'Sullivan

Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy created the Cape Cod National Seashore. On August 7, 1961, he signed the bill authorizing its establishment, saying it was significant to "preserve the natural and historic values of a portion of Cape Cod for the inspiration and enjoyment of people all over the United States."

As part of the U.S. National Park System, the National Seashore is one of over 390 sites across the country that protect our nation's natural and cultural heritage for future generations. Our National Seashore consists of forty miles of sandy beaches, marshes, ponds, and upland forests which support diverse species of plants and animals, as well as lighthouses, visitor centers and cranberry bogs.

The celebrations and commemorations of the Seashore's beauty began in January with an exhibition by the Eastham Painters Guild, and will continue throughout the year. Upcoming events include different art exhibits each month as well as other planned activities.

"The designation of Cape Cod as a national seashore by President Kennedy was a gift to all the American people," Parks superintendent George Price said in a press release. "This milestone provides an opportunity for all who love this special place to reflect on where we've been and to commit to what we collectively hope to achieve to ensure that the values of the National Seashore are protected and appreciated in perpetuity."

For the month of April, the Salt Pond Visitors Center is hosting an art exhibition by Nauset Regional High School students entitled, The View from Here. The Park will celebrate International Marconi Day on April 23rd, as well as take part in National Junior Ranger Day and Earth Day clean-ups.

In May, new permanent visitor center exhibits will be dedicated at the Salt Pond Visitors Center, and a new art exhibition will open by photographer Tom Fitzgerald. People of the Light will be on display through June.

Park rangers plan to offer "retro" park programs during the summer visitor months of June, July and August. The walks, talks, lectures and activities will be reminiscent of programs that were offered when the park first opened in the early 1960s. More artwork will be on display for July and August in the Images of America exhibit, leading up to the big birthday celebration on August 6th and 7th.

For more information about the storied history of the National Seashore, or for details and dates of upcoming events, visit

The National Seashore is truly a gift for all Americans, but those of us who live, work and play on Cape Cod are especially blessed.

In the Summer Issue of CapeWomenOnline, we'd like
to feature stories and photographs from you,
our readers, reflecting your thoughts
and experiences with the
Cape Cod National Seashore
as it celebrates its 50th birthday.
Please send your photos and memories to

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