On Aug. 25, the National Park Service celebrated its 98th birthday and, along with the National Park Foundation, began the countdown to its 100th anniversary in 2016 with an entrance fee-free day at all national parks, a host of exciting events across the country, and the launch of a new Centennial logo.
“Today, we reflect on almost a century of preserving some of the most spectacular and meaningful places for the benefit of all Americans,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the countdown begins to the National Park Service's Centennial in 2016, we want to introduce a new generation of park visitors and advocates to their national parks. These national treasures collectively tell the story of our country who we are and what we value as a society.”
“We are thrilled to commemorate another year of the important work that our partners at the National Park Service do every single day, and we invite everyone to join in on the fun and celebrate with the entire national park community,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We encourage you to bring your friends and bring your family, and help us inspire even more people to connect with and enjoy their national parks.”
There are many ways to join the celebration, including:
- Visit a national park. There's probably one closer than you think. There are 401 national parks throughout the country (at least one in every state) and all of them were free to enter on August 25. Entrance fees will also be waived on September 27 for National Public Lands Day and November 11 for Veterans Day.
- Take part in a special event. From concerts and special tours, to scavenger hunts and birthday cake, parks will be celebrating in different ways across the country, and you're invited. Check the event calendar to find out what's going on near you.
- Sign the National Park Foundation's online birthday card for the National Park Service.
- Share birthday wishes and your favorite national park moments and memories online using the hashtag #NationalParks.
To find even more ideas and events at national parks near you, visit www.npsbirthday.org.
Also on Aug. 25, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation unveiled a new Centennial logo, which will help commemorate the National Park Service's 100th anniversary in 2016. The logo will be available for partners to license and use on retail products such as clothing, souvenir items, outdoor gear, educational items, and more.
As the Centennial approaches, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation are teaming up with partners to present engaging programs, events, and activities that will support America's national parks. The Centennial will also highlight the historic preservation and outdoor recreation work that the National Park Service does in communities across the country every day.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America's national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards.