APR 20, 2016 5:34 PM PDT

Celebrating the Centennial of our National Parks


This year marks the 100 year birthday of our National Parks in the US. The idea of setting aside land for preservation, protection, and resource management was novel back in 1872 when President Ulysses Grant signed the bill that created Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was the first National Park in the US...and in the world.

Years later in 1916 came revolutionary idea that the federal government should set aside land for preservation with a particular program. The National Park Service was envisioned by Steven Mather (who later became the first director of the NPS) and Horace Albright, who at the time were working in the Department of Interior.The idea exploded exponentially along with the design of the automobile and roadway systems made parks more accessible. The parks have continued to evolve with their country and its residents.

Since then, the NPS has expanded to include not only the country's vast and diverse landscapes but also pay tribute to historical events by including historical monuments and landmarks. There are currently 59 in total National Parks, Monuments, and Landmarks in total.


As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "There is nothing so American as our National Parks." They are part of our national heritage and deserve the pride and protection from every person who calls themselves an American. Bear that in mind and go visit a park near you!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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