Today (August 25, 2016) the National Park Service is celebrating their 100th birthday! That’s 100 years that they have been taking care of our precious and irreplaceable public lands.

The National Park Service (NPS) was established by an act of Congress in 1916 to manage public lands that were assigned to the U.S. Department of the Interior at the time, such as Yellowstone National Park. By 1933 the role of the National Park Service had expanded to make it the primary federal agency responsible for preserving and protecting our country’s most valuable natural and cultural resources.
The NPS now manages over 400 sites, including 58 national parks and a number of national seashores, national lake-shores, national rivers, national scenic-trails, national monuments, national memorials, national military parks, and national battlefields.  
The oldest NPS managed site is Yellowstone National Park, first designated as a park by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Known for its spectacular geothermal geysers, ancient petrified forests, sparkling waterfalls, and abundance of wildlife, Yellowstone covers over 2 million acres. To celebrate the NPS centennial Yellowstone National Park is hosting “An Evening at the Arch” centennial event to kick off the second century of the National Park Service. Tickets to the event are already sold out but you can watch the event live at (broadcast begins at 6pm Mountain Daylight Time)

The newest NPS managed site is Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, designated as a National Monument just yesterday by President Obama. It encompasses approximately 87,000 acres of Maine including the East Branch of the Penobscot River and a large section of Maine’s woods that are rich in biodiversity.

The National Park Service is inviting everyone to celebrate their centennial with them by holding special events across the country and providing free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28.
Find out more about each of our parks and what they are doing to celebrate the NPS centennial at the links below:

Happy Birthday to the National Park Service from Wilderness Volunteers!
More information about our National Parks:
National Park Birthday Invitation:
Centennial Events at the NPS:
Volunteer and Give Something Back to our National Parks:
Wilderness Volunteers is partnering with 17 different NPS managed areas in 2016 to help them complete critical projects including trail construction and maintenance, invasive weed removal, archaeological survey, and planting native flora. There are still openings on some of these projects for fall 2016. Find out more about giving something back to our National Parks with Wilderness Volunteers on our project homepage.