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FriAug 25

National Park Service Founders Day – August 25, 2023

National Park Service Founders Day is observed every year on August 25. The day recognizes the superior conservation and preservation efforts of the National Parks System. Whenever you are enjoying scenic trails, open spaces, watersheds, or recreational areas, remember that the National Parks Service works hard to provide a natural outdoor resource accessible to every American. They are also responsible for making hiking and biking trails accessible to all of us. The National Parks System is committed to creating outdoor experiences like no other. These parks charm us with their beauty and teach us so much about local geography and history.

History of National Park Service Founders Day

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act. The Act established the National Park Service. As part of the Department of Interior, the National Park Service protects 400 areas across the 50 American states and territories and the district of Columbia. They are entrusted with the protection of national parks totaling 84 million acres!

The first national park, Yellowstone, was established in 1872. Congress passed legislation to preserve the land as a public park that would benefit the Americans. This made America the first country in the world to create a public park solely for the benefit of its citizens. This would be the first of many steps that the government would take to create and preserve national land, forests, coastal regions, wildlife refuges, and historic sites for posterity.

At the time when the National Park Service was founded, there were only 33 federally created areas. This included the National Capital Parks, the National Mall, and the White House in Washington D.C. Today, there are more than 400 areas, including 59 fully designated national parks that are looked after by the National Park Service. Covering more than 84 million acres, they range from the tiny Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania of only .02 acres, to Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve spanning a vast 13.2 million acres. The National Park Service has 22,000 workers who are involved in permanent, temporary, and seasonal employment. An additional 340,000 volunteers are also enrolled with the service. These parks welcome almost 300 million visitors every year.

National Park Service Founders Day timeline

1872
The Federal Government Assumes Control

There is no state government to manage Yellowstone, so the Federal Government steps in.

1916
A Portfolio is Published

A portfolio of nine major parks is published to generate interest.

1934
National Park Service Stamps

Postage stamps are issued to commemorate the reorganization and expansion of the National Park Service.

1951
Conrad Wirth Becomes Director

Wirth becomes the director of the N.P.S. and improves park quality on public demand.

National Park Service Founders Day FAQs

What is National Park Service Founders Day?

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, creating the National Park Service. The day celebrates and honors the creation of the agency.

What was the first national park established and when?

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant designated Yellowstone as the first national park in the United States. It was also the first of its kind in the world.

What is the biggest National Park in the U.S.?

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska may be the largest national park in the U.S. In fact, seven of the 10 biggest national parks can be found in Alaska.

How to Observe National Park Service Founders Day

  1. Visit a national park

    What better way to celebrate National Park Service Founders Day than by visiting a national park? Find a national park closest to you and set off with your friends to appreciate nature in all its glory.

  2. Treat a serviceman

    Know anyone who is or was an employee of the National Park Service? Treat them to a meal or bring them a small gift as a gesture of thanks on this day,

  3. Volunteer

    You can register yourself as a volunteer with the National Park Service as a way to do your bit in conserving protected lands. You can also encourage your friends to sign up as volunteers.

5 Facts About Forests That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Forests have an impressive land cover

    Forests cover around four billion hectares or 30% of Earth’s land surface.

  2. The Amazon is rich in biodiversity

    The highest biodiversity ever recorded on land is in the Amazon rainforest.

  3. Forests are quickly disappearing

    Research says that 15.3 billion trees are chopped down every year.

  4. Humans are responsible for disappearing forests

    Russia, Canada, and Brazil had the highest gross forest cover loss between 2012 and 2014.

  5. Brazil is committed to preserving forests

    Brazil, with 206 million hectares, has the largest protected forest area.

Why National Park Service Founders Day is Important

  1. Because we love the national parks

    National parks are a space for recreation and protecting animals and plants. As outdoor spaces become increasingly rare, National Park Service Founders Day reminds us of the importance of preserving them.

  2. It’s a day to express our appreciation

    Employees and volunteers work tirelessly to make national parks and other open spaces accessible to all Americans. This is a day to express our gratitude to these servicemen.

  3. It encourages mindful living

    National parks illustrate how nature and humans can peacefully coexist. On this day, we can pledge to live a more sustainable life.

National Park Service Founders Day dates

YearDateDay
2023August 25Friday
2024August 25Sunday
2025August 25Monday
2026August 25Tuesday
2027August 25Wednesday

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