Since its founding on August 25th, 1916, the National Park Service has protected America’s natural, cultural, and historical treasures. When the National Park Service was first signed into existence by President Woodrow Wilson, it was established as a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior and was made responsible for protecting the 35 parks and monuments already managed by the government. A 1933 executive order transferred 56 more national monument sites from the Forest Service and the War Department to the NPS, which was a major step in the development the National Park Service as a significant, invaluable entity. Now, the National Park Service comprises over 400 areas spanning more than 84 million acres across all 50 states and territories.
Let’s explore five more National Park Service facts to celebrate this renowned and revolutionary organization:
- The highest point in the NPS system is Denali (or Mount McKinley) in Alaska at 20,320 feet. (source) The lowest point is at Badwater Basin (282 feet below sea level) in Death Valley National Park, California.
- The National Park Service had 15,703,311,966 visitors since 1904. (source) The year with the highest amount of visitors was 2016 with 330,971,689 visitors.
- The National Park Service has approximately 20,000 employees. (source) These employees are aided by around 280,000 volunteers each year.
- The National Park Service’s arrowhead emblem was officially established in 1951. (source) The National Park Service’s emblem features a bison and a sequoia tree representing America’s flora and fauna, mountains and water representing scenic and recreational values, and the arrowhead itself representing archaeological and historical values.
- California’s Sequoia National Park is home to General Sherman, the largest single-stem tree in the world. (source) General Sherman is 52,508 cubic feet in total size with a height of 275 feet and circumference of 102 feet.