National Parks Service Celebrates 105th Birthday

by Amy Myers

Wednesday marks the National Park Service’s 105th birthday since its start in 1917, and Outsiders all over the country are celebrating.

Founded in 1916, the National Park Service has helped preserve our favorite places for generations to continue to enjoy. With 423 national parks and over 318 million visitors every year, this is no small feat. Despite the challenges, though, more than 20,000 men and women fulfill the NPS’ mission of protecting and advocating for the country’s wildest and most beautiful parts.

In celebration of the milestone, the National Park Service wants adventurists and admirers to share snapshots of their favorite parks. According to the NPS’s official site, back in the early years of its development, park visitors would send postcards, photographs and even whole scrapbooks to local ranger stations. This year, though, the service encourages its biggest fans to save their postage and instead share these same moments online. By using “#ParkScrapbooks,” “#FindYourPark” and “EncuentraTuParque,” visitors can be a part of the digital collection of memorable moments outdoors.

On top of the digital collection of patrons’ photographs, the Service is giving back to its biggest fans. For today only, NPS is offering free admission to any national park. NPS will also hold a “Birthday Twitter Chat” at 9 p.m. ET. Use “#ParkChat to join in on the conversation.

Outsiders Help the National Park Service Celebrate Its 105th Birthday

Not surprisingly, outdoor enthusiasts posted some impressive shots of their adventures across the country. While the growing collage of national park snapshots pays tribute to the National Park Service’s big milestone, it also demonstrates just how much joy its purpose brings to the people.

One Outsider decided to share her photo of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Co. The snapshot featured beautiful, sky-high rock formations fit for a Greek deity. Along with the amazing landscape, the user boasted a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, who established five national parks and 150 national forests during his term.

“’There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us,’”⁠ the National Park Service advocate wrote in her post.

Likewise, various rangers and stations took the opportunity to show their pride in the National Park Service. The Timucuan Parks Foundation in Jacksonville, Fl. added to the park scrapbook. In its photo, one of the rangers launched an atlatl, a stick that Native Americans used to propel a spear, in front of the NPS’s arrowhead logo.