Monday, August 25 marks the 98th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. In honor of this special day, we’ve asked Stacy Speas, Supervisory Park Ranger at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, to pen a post about national parks and the exciting celebratory events Jefferson National Expansion Memorial has in store for the anniversary.
Why celebrate the founding of the National Park Service? With more than 400 sites, National Parks protect places special to all Americans. On August 25, 1916, Congress passed the “Organic Act,” which created and spelled out the NPS mission. It states, “promote and regulate … national parks, monuments and reservations … which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same … by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” In other words, national parks are owned by all Americans and will be protected for future generations. You are a part of this mission when you visit and support your parks!
There is a park for almost any interest. Are you a history buff? Try Gettysburg National Military Park or Natchez National Historical Park. Do you enjoy the grandeur of big trees? Check out Sequoia-Kings Canyon or Redwoods National Park. Are you curious about amazing wildlife and mountains? Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain National Park is your place to be. Would you love to feast your eyes upon the open American landscapes? Try Cumberland Island or Gulf Islands National Seashore. Are you mesmerized by massive monuments? Then Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is the place for you.
On behalf of the entire staff at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, I invite you to don a party hat and join us in nibbling on cake and singing “Happy Birthday” to the National Park Service. Visit the Arch this Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, and help us celebrate the 98th birthday of the National Park Service. Here are the events we have lined up:
- Saturday, August 23; 7 p.m.: Flicks and Foodies will take over the Arch grounds. This outdoor movie night includes area food trucks and live music followed by a showing of North by Northwest underneath the Arch at sunset.
- Sunday, August 24; 1-4 p.m.: The Arch lobby will host several family-friendly activities. At 1:00, we will serve birthday cake in the Levee Mercantile. Kids and parents can enjoy a story and craft activity at 2:00, and at 3:00 a ranger will perform a camping demonstration focusing on Leave No Trace principles. Throughout the afternoon a table display with other National Park information and activities will also be available.
- Monday, August 25; all day: On the 98th anniversary of NPS: The park will be fee-free, saving you $3 off your adult Arch tram or movie ticket.
Join us! Come downtown and enjoy your local national park as we celebrate this special anniversary!