Happy 100 Years, National Park Service

This week, we’re officially commemorating the centennial of the National Park Service. While we’ve been celebrating all year (you can read more about how we’ve been marking 100 years of stewardship here and here), the official century mark is Thursday, August 25. And you guys, that’s a BIG birthday.

Cheers to 100 years.

Cheers to 100 years.

And here’s the thing about birthdays: in my family, we always celebrate them. When it’s your birthday, everyone in attendance at your dinner, party, etc., takes a turn and tells the birthday boy or girl what they love about him or her.

So, in honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, here’s a few things I love about our national parks.

1. The national parks are truly America’s best idea. If you’ve ever been to a national park, especially Glacier National Park, you realize what an incredible place it is. There’s nowhere on earth that’s quite like Glacier and there’s a real reverence, peace and sense of awe that accompanies every visit.

A red travels along the Going-to-the-Sun Road as part of the FDR commemorative trip in Glacier National Park. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

A red travels along the Going-to-the-Sun Road as part of the FDR commemorative trip in Glacier National Park. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

2. They are more than just a pretty face. Sure, pretty much all of our national parks are beautiful. But they’re so much more than that. In Glacier National Park, evidence of human use dates back 10,000 years and today, this park has a diverse past that’s home to American Indian history, mining, hunting, fur trapping and settlers. Meanwhile, in Yellowstone National Park researchers have found that there were places in the park that were used around 11,000 years ago and that Salish (who called the Bitterroot Valley home) spent time in and around the park 3,000 years ago.

Blackfeet tipis. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

Blackfeet tipis. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

3. National parks were created for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. If you ask me, creating national parks was one of the most selfless things the government has ever done. Sure, national parks can get crowded and maybe people don’t always observe rules, safety regulations, etc. but the point is that they are there enjoying our most precious places. PS: if you are visiting one of the national parks in the West, read this blog and follow the rules

The Roosevelt Arch welcomes visitors to Yellowstone National Park. Photo: YNP Flickr

The Roosevelt Arch welcomes visitors to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana. Photo: Yellowstone NPS Flickr

4. I love how they make me feel. There are some places (you could easily switch out the word places for people or experiences) that have the ability to make you feel at peace. For as long as I can remember, Glacier National Park has been that place for me. And I can’t really put into words why, all I know is how I feel when I spent time in the Crown of the Continent.

One of my favorite places: Two Medicine.

One of my favorite places: Two Medicine.

5. National parks are always within reach. There are certain people and places that I know without a doubt that I can call or visit when I need them. If you ask me (let’s just pretend you did), our national parks and national historic sites have been cultivated to be within reach of all people, no matter where you’re from, how much money you make, your abilities or what you believe. The National Park Service is more than just national parks; it’s many of our country’s national monument and other historical properties (including historic trails, heritage corridors and battlefields). Plus, the National Park Service offers several fee-free dates that give everyone the opportunity to visit a national park site near them.

Many trails in the park are accessible for visitors of various abilities, including Trail of the Cedars/Avalanche Lake. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

Many trails in the park are accessible for visitors of various abilities, including Trail of the Cedars/Avalanche Lake. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

If you want to join me in celebrating the National Park Service Centennial, leave a comment and let me know what YOU love about our national parks.

A few things to note:
-Montana’s Glacier National Park is hosting an InstaMeet on Thursday, August 25. The public is welcome to attend; meet in the Apgar Village parking area at 6 p.m.
-Many units of the National Park Service are hosting InstaMeets. Check out the full schedule here and plan to attend one near you.
-Entry into all national parks is free August 25 – 28, 2016.
-See more centennial events taking place in Glacier National Park here.
-Be sure to share your national park love by using #FindYourPark on twitter and instagram.
-Check out more happenings and celebrations for the National Park Service Centennial here.

xo,
TT

6 thoughts on “Happy 100 Years, National Park Service

  1. Linda Zick

    We were blessed to enjoy the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone & Glacier in July. So many amazing views & memories and look forward to more visits in the future!!

    Reply
  2. Donna

    Glacier National Park has brought such peace and joy to my new found life here in northwest Montana. All I can say is Mother Nature was having one helluva great day when GNP was created. The landscape, the wildlife, the flowing waterfalls…simply amazing. As I cross the bridge from West Glacier into the park, I can always feel the smile start to spread across my face.. My mood instantly lightens. As I drive the GTTSR, I have my fair share of Julie Andrew moments, wanting to belt out..”The Hills are Alive…”. It truly is an amazing place!

    Thank you National Park System and Happy Birthday to you!

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Ah, what a great comment Donna! It’s amazing the peace and wonder that’s found in our national parks.

      Reply
  3. Brenda silk

    We love how you love Montana and all it has to offer. I just wanted to let you know that we recently took a trip loosely based on your 31 best photo ops in Montana. For the past 14 years we have been to Glacier and northwest Montana but we knew Montana had so much more to offer. We designed a road trip that would cover much of eastern Montana and other areas we hadn’t explored. We started in Bismark ND and did a huge circle. We spent the night in Glendive, Billings, Lovell, WY, Red Lodge, Lewistown, Malta, Wolf Point and Dickinson, ND. Over 3000 miles on the car in 2 weeks. We saw so much and experienced so much beauty. From the Badlands, to Big Horn Canyon, to the wild mustangs on Pryor Mountain, to the Beartooth Highway, to the acres of wheat, hay and sunflowers to the dinosaurs, to the national wildlife refuges, to the Phillips county fair, to the Medicine Wheel, to Pompei’s Pillar, to the little Rockies, to Crystal lake. Would love to tell you more about it. Oh, and the people we met along the way were pretty awesome, just like Montana. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Brenda, thanks so much! And thank you for commenting and letting me know that you did that trip — I bet it was so amazing! And I’m so happy you were able to see so many other parts of Montana. 🙂

      Reply

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