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National Park Service Centennial: Celebrating 100 Years of Service

• On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turns 100!

• The National Park Service was created by an act signed by President Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916.

The National Park System covers more than 84 million acres and has 410 sites. It includes:

  • • 128 historical parks or sites
  • • 59 national parks
  • • 25 battlefields or military parks
  • • 81 national monuments

Total Recreational Visits

  • • 1920: 1 million
  • • 1940: 17 million
  • • 1960: 79 million
  • • 1980: 198 million
  • • 2000: 286 million
  • • 2015: 307.2 million

10 Most Visited National Parks

  • 1. Great Smoky Mountain
  • 2. Grand Canyon
  • 3. Rocky Mountain
  • 4. Yosemite
  • 5. Yellowstone
  • 6. Zion
  • 7. Olympic
  • 8. Grand Teton
  • 9. Acadia
  • 10. Glacier

Did You Know?

  • • National parks are chosen for their beauty, geological features, and rare ecosystems. National monuments are selected for their historical or archeological importance.
  • • Yellowstone is the world’s 1st national park
  • • Largest Park: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (13.2 million acres)
  • • Smallest Park: Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial (0.02 acres)
  • • The cavalry were the original park caretakers.
  • • Delaware is the only state without a national park or national monument.
  • • National Park employees: 22,000
  • • Volunteers: 221,000

Timeline

  • • 1872: Yellowstone National Park created
  • • 1883: Arrival of the Atlantic & Pacific Railways
  • • 1890: Yosemite National Park created
  • • 1906: 1st national monument established (Devils Tower)
  • • 1916: Establishment of the National Park Service
  • • 1919: Grand Canyon National Park Created
  • • 1927: Construction of Mount Rushmore begins
  • • 1933: Stature of Liberty is placed in the care of the National Park Service
  • • 1941-1945: WWII reduces park funds
  • • 1973: Endangered Species Act
  • • 2016: Centennial anniversary of the National Park Service
 

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