Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service

by Wendy on August 25, 2016

“Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. But our work doesn’t stop there.” www.nps.gov/aboutus


America’s deepest lake – Crater Lake Oregon by Josemaria Toscano

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service. The “Organic Act” states that the fundamental purpose of the National Park Service “is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

The National Park Service maintains 879 visitor centers and contact stations which were visited by more than 307 million people in 2015.

National parks contain:

  • At least 247 species of threatened or endangered plants and animals.
  • More than 75,000 archeological sites.
  • Nearly 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures.
  • More than 167 million museum items, including George Washington’s inaugural coat and Carl Sandburg’s typewriter.
  • 18,000 miles of trails.
  • The world’s largest carnivore, the Alaskan brown bear.
  • The world’s largest living things, Giant Sequoia trees.
  • The highest point in North America, Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet), in Denali National Park.
  • The longest cave system known to the world, Mammoth Cave National Park, with more than 400 mapped miles of caves.
  • America’s deepest lake, Crater Lake in Crater Lake National Park (Oregon), at 1,943 feet.
  • The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, at 282’ below sea level.

Join in the Celebration at www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial


As the National Park Service turns 100, Secretary Jewell reflects on its past and future – by Tom Fox, Washington Post

 The National Parks: America’s Best Idea – a film by Ken Burns (PBS/OPB)

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