The National Park Service’s 102nd birthday
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act, which created the National Park Service. The act stated that the NPS “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.” When the bureau was created, the NPS began managing the 35 US national parks and monuments already established.
Now, the National Park Service manages historical parks and sites, battlefields and military parks, preserves, recreation areas, seashores, parkways, lakeshores, and reserves, in addition to national parks and monuments. Including 417 sites, the National Park System covers 84 million acres.
Yellowstone National Park came a number of years before the creation of the National Park Service. Congress established Yellowstone as not only the US’s first national park but also the world’s first on March 1, 1872. Today, there are 60 US national parks in total, and I hope to one day visit all of them. Do you too?
Explore America the Beautiful & #FindYourPark
First of all, visiting US national parks is one of the best ways to see the country’s natural beauty. With deep roots in American culture, national parks are truly something to be celebrated. So it’s important to support the National Park Service during your travels within the United States.
On top of that, exploring the parks are a great way to unplug from the digital world and experience educational and meaningful travel. Additionally, if you plan to visit numerous parks in one year, it might be advantageous to purchase an America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass for $80.
To inspire you to visit more US national parks, here are nine photos and quotes that will fuel your wanderlust.
"National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst." – Wallace Stegner
"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and the wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of the great human principle." – Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity… and that mountain parks are useful not only as fountains of timber… but as fountains of life." – John Muir
"Within National Parks is room – glorious room – room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve." – Enos Mills
"Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children." – Theodore Roosevelt
"I hope that the United States of America is not so rich that she can afford to let these wildernesses pass by. Or so poor that she cannot afford to keep them." – Margaret Murie
"National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today." – John F. Kennedy
"There are instances: [Henry David] Thoreau read [John] Wordsworth, [John] Muir read Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt read Muir, and you got national parks. It took a century for this to happen, for artistic values to percolate down to where honoring the relation of people's imagination to the land, or beauty, or to wild things, was issued in legislation." – Robert Hass
"The parks are the nation's pleasure grounds and the nation's restoring places..." – J. Horace McFarland
Do you like visiting national parks when you travel? What are your favorite US national parks you’ve been to? And which would you like to visit next?