Just two weeks after President Woodrow Wilson signed the congressional document creating Lassen Volcanic National Park (August 6, 1916), he set up the National Park Service on August 25.
Previously, the 14 other national parks were not uniformly serviced under the Department of Agriculture; now, the NPS, a bureau of the Department of the Interior, would create enforced standards to conserve and protect treasured areas for future generations.
Since its inception in 1872 with Yellowstone National Park, the system has grown to over 450 natural, recreational, cultural and historical areas, including parks, battlefields, memorials, monuments, military parks, seashores, scenic rivers and trails, parkways and the White House.
Every state has a park. Find yours and celebrate this special birthday on August 25. From concerts and special tours, to scavenger hunts and birthday cake, parks will party in different ways. The NPS has worked to ensure attendees know the Centennial is “more than a birthday.”
“We want people É to embrace the opportunities to explore, learn, be inspired or simply have fun in their 407 national parks, as well as understand how the É Service’s community-based recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs positively impact their own communities.”
An engaged citizenry now will set the course for the next century.
* The U.S. Mint is commemorating the Centennial by issuing three limited-edition coins, a five-dollar gold coin, a silver dollar, and a half-dollar clad coin with various iconic images and the NPS’s logo, the Arrowhead.
* The U.S. Postal Service is issuing 16 new Forever stamps featuring national parks.