The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary

Happy 100th Birthday National Parks!

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2016 marks the centennial of the National Park Service, the mission of which is to preserve “unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.”

And though we’re celebrating 100 years of the National Park System this year, from Maine to Hawaii, Florida to Alaska, and everywhere in between, not to mention American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it may come as a surprise to learn that the first National Park was designated in 1871, 45 years before the National Park Service as we know it came into existence in 1916.

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