Experience Nature in the Wild on the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service –
America’s national parks, monuments and lands are uniquely different — in their make-up and their locale — but they all seek to tell a part of America’s story.
National Park Week is coming up April 16-24 in one of the nation’s largest celebrations of nature, history and culture, according to an announcement just out from the White House and the Department of the Interior.
“This year is special because it comes as we celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service — that’s 100 years of protecting America’s best idea,” says Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
Over the past century, the national park system has grown to more than 400 sites, and has inspired many other countries around the world to expand their own national parks.
“National Park Week is the perfect time to get out there and #FindYourPark with free admission April 16-24 to all of (the) 400-plus national park sites,” Jewell said in an e-mail blast.
President Obama understands the importance of protecting America’s special places for future generations, she said.
“In the seven years since taking office, he’s set aside more than 265 million acres of land and water — that’s more than any other president,” she said.
And it’s having a huge impact on local communities, she said. Every $1 invested in the National Park Service returns $10 to the U.S. economy.
“These places preserve the heritage of cultures that came before ours, like at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico, where visitors can see the shelters erected by people of the Mogollon Culture in the 1200s,” she said. “They connect visitors to the incredible, awe-inspiring beauty of nature — from the sandstone cliffs and beaches hugging Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to the breathtakingly beautiful star-scattered night sky at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California.”
Regardless of whether it is the Grand Canyon or the Washington Monument, these places all have one thing in common: they belong to the American people.
“National Park Week is about making connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and getting closer to nature,” Jewell said. “I encourage all of you to join in the celebration and discover, or rediscover, the incredible destinations that tell America’s story.”
To see more amazing photos to inspire you to #FindYourPark, follow @USInterior on Instagram.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.