The National Park Service is turning the big 100 on Aug. 25, and you’re invited to its centennial celebration.
You can commemorate the park service’s birthday by visiting one of our country’s 412 national parks — including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Glacier (my personal favorite) — from Aug. 25 through Aug. 28. Park admission is waived at all national parks on all four days.
In addition to free park admission, there are a lot of different special events planned for the National Park Service’s centennial celebration at parks across the country. Check with your nearest national park to see what events they have in the works.
President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 1916, when the U.S. had just 35 national parks and monuments. Now, the National Park System has 412 parks covering more than 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan and the Virgin Islands. The Park Service says:
The centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.
You can also take advantage of entrance-fee-free park days on Sept. 24, National Public Lands Day; and Nov. 11, Veterans Day. The park service also traditionally waives admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and during National Park Week in April. According to the National Park Service:
“Fee-free days make parks accessible to more people. However, national parks are always economical, with entrance fees that range from $3 to $30.”
All fourth-grade students in the U.S. can snag a free annual pass for all national parks through the Every Kid in a Park program. The free pass is good for fourth-graders and their families. Current third-graders can get their fourth-grade passes starting Sept. 1.
What’s your favorite national park? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.