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National Park Service Celebrates Centennial
Founded August 25, 1916


The Every Kid in a Park initiative kicked off the National Parks centennial celebration in fall 2015 as a way to encourage families to visit the National Parks. With its 100th anniversary approaching, more events are culminating for the National Park Service as they begin a second century of stewardship.

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service, the fundamental purpose of which "is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." One hundred years later, the National Park System encompasses more than 400 sites and 84 million acres. More than 300 million people visited National Parks in 2015.

Throughout 2016, the National Park Service has been celebrating its centennial, but with the anniversary date approaching, events are kicking into high gear. The centennial will mark the start of a second century of stewardship of America's national parks, according to the NPS website.

All National Parks are offering free admission from August 25-28, 2016. Several parks are hosting special events during that time, with locations across the US offering naturalization ceremonies in conjunction with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There are events happening outside of the parks, including National Park nights at many Major and Minor League Baseball games.

Visit to find the National Park, Monument, Trail, Preserve or Historic Site closest to you as well as any centennial events they might be hosting. Use #FindYourPark to share your National Park story.

Association news and events are listed at To view the calendar of upcoming events, visit the "Event Search Center" on

If your association has news and/or events that you would like featured on, please send your information via email to

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July 22, 2019, 8:47 pm PDT

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