Photos: National Park Service celebrates 100 years

President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 1916

The sun rises over Crater Lake, Ore., in Crater Lake National Park. (Marc Adamus/The Register-Guard via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of managing some of the nation’s most well-known parks, monuments and historic places.

The agency’s reach stretches coast to coast, from Acadia on the Atlantic to the Channel Islands in the Pacific. There’s the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

LIVING EMBLEM

People on the National Mall in Washington, looking toward the World War II Memorial, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, creating a giant, living version of the National Park Service emblem. (Tim Ervin/National Park Service via AP)
People on the National Mall in Washington, looking toward the World War II Memorial, creating a giant, living version of the National Park Service emblem.
(Tim Ervin/National Park Service via AP)

More than 1,000 kids and adults used brown, green and white umbrellas to create a living version of the park service emblem on the National Mall, which the agency photographed from above.

The emblem contains elements symbolizing the major facets of the national park system. A Sequoia tree and bison represent vegetation and wildlife, mountains and water represent scenery and recreation and the arrowhead shape represents history and archaeology.

The first 1,000 participants were allowed to keep their umbrellas and got T-shirts commemorating the event.

“The centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.” – National Park Service

On Wednesday President Barack Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters monument on 87,000 acres in Maine’s North Woods donated by the founder of Burt’s Bees, Roxanne Quimby. The land, which includes stunning views of the state’s tallest mountain, Katahdin, is cherished by Native Americans, and its history includes visits by naturalist Henry David Thoreau and President Theodore Roosevelt.

The creation of the agency’s 413th property was opposed by state lawmakers and critics fear that it will hinder efforts to rebuild a forest-based economy in the region. Quimby’s son said many parks in the service’s system have been criticized upon creation but “when we look to the future, we see huge amounts of success.”

Free Admission: Find Your Park

The park service is offering free admission to all its sites through Sunday. They’re among 16 free days scheduled throughout the centennial year.

Some parks are serving birthday cake for the occasion. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Maryland is offering free mule-drawn boat rides Thursday.

 

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