On this day 99 years ago, Congress recognized the need for the creation of a federal agency to protect and develop the various parks, military battle memorials, and monuments that were rapidly being developed across the United States. Our system of national parks and monuments would become a model for countries all over the world for the protection of national treasures. The creation of the national park system has been called “America’s Best Idea.”
As stewards of the National Parks, we’ve been busy serving the public and protecting your public lands.
In 2014, we saw one of the busiest years in Pennsylvania’s 18 national parks with nearly 9 million people enjoying the history and the natural and
cultural resources of Pennsylvania. These visits generated more than $395 million in visitor spending.
For next year’s 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, all parks will be working closely with their community partners, local businesses, school, and governments to celebrate another century of serving the American public. We’re reaching out through social media, community outreach and traditional news media.
Why are we doing this? We’re celebrating! …asking people to discover their parks because these places matter. America’s national parks are beautiful, emotional places.
(When I leave my office at the Museum and Visitor Center at lunchtime to walk on the battlefield, it’s amazing how often visitors stop me to tell me what a great job I have!)
Places like Gettysburg National Military Park, Flight 93 National Memorial, and the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail tell us more about who we are. They help us understand our times. The Centennial is about celebration, discovery and connections.
99 Ways to Find Your Park – The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s National Parks, have created Find Your Park.com to encourage visitors to discover everything a park can be. The list of 99 Ways to Find Your Park includes a wide range of activities that people can do from historic hikes, to earning a Junior Ranger Badge and writing poetry. Visitors are encouraged to share their park experience by using #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque on social media.
We hope you’ll put Gettysburg on your calendar in 2016 and join us for new programs and our well-loved classic Gettysburg programs. Come to Gettysburg and Find Your Park.
Katie Lawhon, Management Assistant, August 25, 2015