18.04.20 National Parks

April 20, 2018
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National Park Week

“It’s the Declaration of Independence applied to the landscape …. The idea of the national parks could not happen anywhere else but in the United States.”

Ken Burns, Director of ‘The National Parks: America's Best Idea’, to USA Today in 2008

The History

1872: Pres. Ulysees S. Grant created the first national park:A Yellowstone National Park.

1906: Pres. Theodore Roosevelt declared all archeological sites on public lands as public resources.

1916: Pres. Woodrow Wilson signed an act creating the National Park Service (NPS).

NPS By the Numbers:

$34.9B: Dollars the NPS sites contributed to U.S. economy in 2016

330M+: NPS visitors in 2017

11.3M+: Visitors at #1 most-visited park (Great Smoky Mountains National Park in NC & TN)

417: NPS sites, including 59 national parks & 87 national monuments

‘We were the first nation in the history of mankind to say that the most special places should be set aside not for royalty, not for the rich, not for the well-connected, but for everyone and for all time.’

Dayton Duncan, writer and co-producer of ‘The National Parks: America's Best Idea’, to USA Today in 2008

National Park Week begins this Saturday, April 21 and runs through April 29. On Saturday, all 417 national parks sites will offer free admission. Learn more here:

by Jenna Lee,