A Tucson expo celebrating the nation's park system has three events scheduled Saturday to encourage families to get out and enjoy the national parks.

The "National Parks Family Expo" on Aug. 29 features activities and interactive displays encouraging people to visit and enjoy U.S. national parks. It runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of Centennial Hall on the University of Arizona campus, and is presented by Arizona Public Media in partnership with the Friends of Saguaro National Park, the Udall Foundation and the Western National Parks Association.

Following the outdoor expo is a special screening of the new PBS documentary from filmmaker Ken Burns, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." The screening takes place inside Centennial Hall, and includes a pre-recorded introduction from Burns as well as highlights from the film. Part 1 of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" premieres Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. on PBS-HD.

Following the special screening is the panel discussion, "Community Conversation: The State of the National Parks," moderated by Arizona Illustrated host Bill Buckmaster and emceed by Ellen Wheeler, executive director of the Udall Foundation. Confirmed for the panel are Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, chairman of the National Parks Subcommittee for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Rep. Raul Grijalva, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands for the House Committee on Natural Resources; and Darla Sidles, superintendent of Saguaro National Park.

More information on this special family event — including the latest participants in the "State of the National Parks" panel discussion — can be found on the community page of the Arizona Public Media website at www.AZpublicmedia.org. Twitter users can follow the latest exciting National Parks Family Expo happenings — including exclusive day-of-event special offers — at http://twitter.com/natlparksexpo or @natlparksexpo

More information on this special event can also be found on the Arizona Public Media Facebook page.

National Parks Family Expo

Saturday, Aug. 29

University of Arizona Centennial Hall grounds, 2-4 p.m.

Special screening of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," 4-5 p.m.

Panel discussion, "The State of the National Parks," 5-6 p.m.

Free to the general public

For more information, contact Erin Deely, outreach coordinator, Arizona Public Media, at 626-3383.

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