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Joshua Tree National Park in California (Photo from Joshua Tree National Park)

Joshua Tree National Park in California (Photo from Joshua Tree National Park)

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Yellowstone National Park was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, as the nation’s first National Park. (Photo from Yellowstone National Park)

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Yosemite National Park in California, established in 1890 (Photo from Yosemite National Park)

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was my first visit to a National Park. (Photo from Jefferson National Expansion Memorial)

centennial_npf_logo_webThe National Park Service, created by an Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916, is celebrating its 100th birthday this summer.

The National Parks is “America’s Best Idea”, according to film producer Ken Burns. Burns’ six-part film series is finishing a repeat airing on PBS this evening. The National Parks: America’s Best Idea is the story of “an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.”

I first experienced the beauty and majesty of the National Parks during a four-week, cross-country road trip with my dad, mom, brothers and sister. The six of us pulled out of our driveway in Dearborn, Michigan in a 1970 Ford LTD, hauling a pop-up camper. Our first stop was the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. I’ll never forget that trip. Now I live in Washington, DC, with the National Mall and Memorial Parks in my own backyard.

The National Park Foundation and the National Park Service invites everyone to Find Your Park. I hope this post inspires YOU to connect with, enjoy, and support our National Parks!

Arches National Park in Utah (Photo from Arches National Park)

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Badlands National Park in South Dakota (Photo from Badlands National Park)

The United States Capitol is at the east end of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. (Creative Commons Photo courtesy of Tyrol5)

The United States Capitol is at the east end of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. (Creative Commons Photo courtesy of Tyrol5)

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. (Photo from Mount Rushmore National Memorial)

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota (Photo from Mount Rushmore National Memorial)

 

 

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