Fees at all 410 National Park Service (NPS) sites will be waived April 16 through April 24 in honor of the service’s 100th birthday.
“We have an amazing variety of special events taking place during the centennial,” NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a news release. “Some commemorate our first hundred years, but many others look to the future, to the next 100 years, and will help connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. It is through them that America’s lands and stories will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”
The National Park Service was created by the National Park Service Organic Act. President Woodrow Wilson signed the measure — sponsored by Rep. William Kent, I-Calif., and Sen. Reed Smoot, R-Utah — into law on Aug. 25, 1916.
The National Park Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior that employees more than 20,000, today oversees 407 sites. Of those, 59 are of national parks while the rest are classified as historic sites, national recreation areas or carry other designations.
“With free admission to parks all week long, National Park Week is the perfect opportunity to check out a new location, revisit one of your favorite parks, and perhaps invite a friend who has never visited a park before to join you,” Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, said in a news release. “It’s a great time to experience and celebrate our parks and historic places, and discover and share with each other how these treasured places are vital and relevant to people from all backgrounds from all over the country.”
National parks will also offer free admission Aug. 25-28 for the National Park Service Birthday, on Sept. 24 for National Public Lands Day and on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day. For more information, visit www.FindYourPark.com.