The National Park Service is the guardian of the nation’s historic sites and wilderness areas. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, wild and scenic rivers and trails. The Service is celebrating National Parks Week April 19- 27. This year’s theme is “Go Wild”
In 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law creating Yellowstone as the world’s first national park. This act set aside from development or settlement more than two million acres in the Montana and Wyoming territories to be “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Then in 1906 Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act which began as an effort to protect the prehistoric cliff dwellings, pueblo ruins and early missions in the Southwest. The National Park Service was formed by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
Even though our closest NPS site, Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill, is closed for major rehabilitation, the grounds and the Roosevelt Museum are open for visitors. Fire Island National Seashore provides wonderful outdoor opportunities. Or you can head into NYC and visit the African Burial Grounds, the Statue of Liberty or the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace.
As you plan your summer travel, be sure to check out the suggested itineraries on the Service’s website. These road trips take you along routes to explore history, archaeology and culture.
If you are more of an armchair traveler, check out the series of DVDs the Syosset Public Library owns on the parks. And, of course, there are many books available.
If you are serious about traveling you might want to buy the annual pass for $80. The senior pass is a real bargain: for those over age 62 the cost is a one time fee of $10! Look at the other passes on the website before you travel.
The National Park Service now oversees more than 400 sites. You can check them here. You can search by type of site or by location. There is really something for everyone! So “Go Wild”!
– posted by Brenda, Reference Services