Today, August 25th 2012, is the birthday of the National Park Service. The NPS was established in 1916 under the Organic Act to protect and preserve America’s “gems”. The act was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson and Stephen Mather was given the job of the first NPS director. At the time that the Organic Act was signed, there were already 35 national park units (14 National Parks and 21 National Monuments) that were now under the management of a newly created government entity.
In honor of this birthday, the NPS has created a website dedicated to sharing stories and photos about visitor experiences in America’s National Parks. You can also donate money to the National Park Foundation as a ” birthday gift” to the NPS. The website also allows you to share your birthday wish for the national park system. Additionally, the travel channel will be showcasing some of America’s most popular and spectacular national parks starting at 3pm today.
The National Park Service has already begun gearing up for their centennial birthday in 2016. I already have my centennial NPS pin. 🙂 The NPS started their centennial plans in 2006, when they asked stakeholders what they envisions for the next century of national park management. The goals and visions were published this year in their “The Future of National Parks” report.