Sunday, August 25, 2013

Get thee to a national park

Plans for today?


Get thee to a national park!

The National Park Service announces:

It's our birthday, and we hope you'll visit a national park and help us celebrate! On August 25, the National Park Service turns 97 years old. We are waiving entrance fees and inviting everyone to join in the festivities taking place coast-to-coast.
Our big day, Sunday, August 25, is a fee-free day, so head to any of the country's 401 national parks and take in the scenery, learn a little history, or simply enjoy the great outdoors.
Ninety-seven may sound old, but we're young at heart and celebrating with everyone who shares our youthful exuberance! Parks across the country are offering loads of fun activities. Take the kids on a snorkel adventure, bike ride, kayak tour, hike, or archaeological dig. Catch a campfire talk, make a painting, or explore the cavernous underworld. Search the events calendar to find out what's happening at a park near you! You can help the kids earn a free Junior Ranger badge at almost any park—just ask at the visitor center.

The National Park Service falls under the Department of Interior and the official timeline notes:

Starting in the 1800s, the scenic natural wonders of the West, places like mineral springs in Arkansas, towering mountains and majestic trees of Yosemite, spouting geysers of Yellowstone, and the arid ruins of Casa Grande, inspired individual Americans to call for their preservation, asking their government to create something called “national parks.”

In 1916, the work of caring for these places was moved to a new agency created by Congress for that specific purpose. The National Park Service was given the responsibility to not only conserve and protect parks, but also to leave them “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” 

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