Have any plans this weekend? How about heading to one of our nation's great national parks? In celebration of the 100-year-anniversary of the National Park Service, CBS 5 reports that all entry fees have been waived.
The government body oversees 411 national parks, recreation areas, and various moments, and as the Chronicle reminds us was officially created by President Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916.
Notably, California's Yosemite Valley, one of the crown jewels of the park system, was actually designated as a space to be “used and preserved for the benefit of mankind" way back in 1864 by a California senator. It was only later transferred to federal control in 1890.
The NPS manages roughly 131,000 square miles of land in the US, and a chunk of that is right here in the Bay Area. Bay City News makes note of 10 national park locations nearby, and highlights places like the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park, and the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site.
For those of you homebound, Google has created a pretty amazing virtual tour of five national parks: Kenai Fjords National Park, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park (check out the below embedded video). And you can always check out this collection of photos, and follow the NPS's excellent Instagram.
So if you can't quite get away from your desk to celebrate the National Park Service this weekend, you can at least bring a bit of the parks to you.
Happy 100th birthday, National Parks Service. You sure do look good for your age.