National Park Service director to visit Xenia

Gazette News Report

XENIA — National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will be in the Xenia area Thursday, Feb. 18 to participate in some Black History Month events.

Jarvis is set to visit Wilberforce’s Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument and Cox Elementary School, to highlight the National Park Service Centennial and the “Every Kid in A Park” initiative.

Xenia Mayor Marsha Bayless will host a luncheon for Jarvis, sponsored by Wilberforce University, during which historic stories of local African-American residents will be shared, as will information on the Park Service’s “Every Kid in A Park” campaign. The campaign is an effort by President Obama to provide every fourth grade student and their families a complimentary pass to visit any National Park in the United States.

“I am honored to have Director Jarvis visit our community during Black History Month,” Bayless said. “As a former principal in the Xenia Community Schools and a history buff, I know what kind of impact the stories of our people, whether they were in the military, medical, political, sports, business, education, aviation or arts and entertainment arenas, have upon children and students of all backgrounds. Director Jarvis’ visit to our schools and local historic areas will leave a lasting, positive impression on the leaders of tomorrow.”

Jarvis’ visit is part of a larger, month-long campaign by United States Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the National Park Service to travel to multiple national park sites to help tell diverse American stories and to distribute passes to local fourth graders for free entry to federal lands and waters.

Both representatives will be travelling to locations like the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce as they share the story of the National Park Service during its celebration of 100 years of existence in the United States. The visit will also underscore the important collaborative spirit of the National Park Service, the City of Xenia and the region’s institutions of primary, secondary and higher education.

The invitational luncheon will be held at 12-1:15 p.m. At Wilberforce University’s Louis Stokes Health and Wellness Center, 1055 N. Bickett Road. The director will then travel to Cox Elementary School where he, Bayless and a World War II Buffalo Soldier will meet with students from 1:45-3 p.m.

Gazette News Report compiled by Scott Halasz.

Gazette News Report compiled by Scott Halasz.