"" Writer's Wanderings: National Parks Turn 100 Next Year!

Monday, July 21, 2014

National Parks Turn 100 Next Year!

Sunrise at Haleaka, Maui, Hawaii
When I volunteer at the Polar Express during the holiday season, I read an introduction to the Polar Express story that has to do with the National Park System and why it came to be. In August of 2016, the NPS will be celebrating 100 years of recreation and conservation in protected park lands across our country. President Woodrow Wilson signed the NPS into law in 1916  "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment … of future generations."

We'll be celebrating a little early with a trip out West to several National Parks this fall. We've already visited quite a few and have a NPS passport book that we are filling up with stamps. Seniors can purchase a great lifetime pass for $10 ($20 if you order it through the mail) that gets you into any National Park for free. There are also lots of other options for visitors like the $80 annual pass that would be valuable if you knew you were making multiple visits.  A pass covers entrance and standard amenity fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free.

Here are just some of the National Parks we've visited so far:
Everglades (Florida)
Denali (Alaska)
Tonto National Forest (Arizona)
Haleakala (Hawaii)
Hawaii Volcanoes (Hawaii)
Acadia (Maine)
Chesapeake Bay (Maryland)
National Mall and Memorial Parks (D.C.)
Lake Mead (Nevada)
Death Valley (Nevada)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial (Ohio)
Gettysburg (Pennsylvania)
Blue Ridge (Virginia)
Olympic (Washington)
San Juan Island (Washington)

Of course some of them we will have to revisit if we want to fill up that passport since we didn't get it until a couple of years ago. Ah, so many places, so little time.

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