The National Parks Service Turns 100 - National Parks Pin

National parks pin.  Blow out the candles and cut the cake—the National Park Service is turning 100! From 1872 when Ulysses S. Grant signed an act forming Yellowstone National Park to 1916 when the park service was officially created, more than 300 million visitors each year have enjoyed the recreation provided by these sites. This year, the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary by providing free park entrance days, so even more people can enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of our national parks.

The National Park Service was created from an act signed by President Woodrow Wilson in August of 1916. It placed all of the existing parks of the time (about 14 sites) under the newly created service’s management.  As the years went on other official acts impacted the park service.  Some of the acts formed new parks, and others added additional duties to the service, such as placing monuments and other historical sites under its protection.

Today the park system has 411 areas, covering more than 84 million acres. These include national parks, monuments, battlefields, historical sites, lakeshores and seashores, and even the White House.  The largest national park site, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska, is 13.2 million acres.   That’s a much larger area than the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania which, at only .2 acres, is the smallest site in the park system.

There are sites from the National Park system in all 50 states. In fact, Utah, where PinProsPlus is located, holds five National Parks.  Consider visiting one of the NPS sites this year and celebrating their 100 year achievement. Make sure you keep watch for the park service’s commemorative centennial pin, or design your own National Parks pin to celebrate. And maybe skip the cake with 100 candles after all.  A burned park site doesn’t sound like the best birthday present you can give!

Yellowstone     Yosemite    Zions

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