Content originally featured in an email from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
America’s national parks, monuments, and lands are uniquely different — in their make-up and their locale — but all seek to tell a part of America’s story.
National Park Week kicked off on Saturday, April 16, as one of the nation’s largest celebrations of nature, history, and culture. This year is special because it comes as we celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service — 100 years of protecting America’s best idea!
Over that century, our national park system has grown to more than 400 sites, and has inspired many other countries around the world to expand their own national parks.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico (Photo by Janet Wei)
These places preserve the heritage of cultures that came before ours, like at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico, where visitors can see the shelters erected by people of the Mogollon Culture in the 1200s.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan (Photo by Steve Perry)
They connect visitors to the incredible, awe-inspiring beauty of nature — from the sandstone cliffs and beaches hugging Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to the breathtakingly beautiful star-scattered night sky at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California.
Whether the Grand Canyon or the Washington Monument, these places all have one thing in common: they belong to the American people.
National Park Week is about making connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and getting closer to nature.