Celebrating our National Parks
America’s wide open spaces offer affordable fun
July 8, 2014 by Mark Dye
In 1872, President Ulysses Grant signed a law designating Yellowstone as America’s first National Park. The goal was to preserve one of the nation’s most awe-inspiring natural places for future generations—and idea that continued well into the 20th century.
In 1916, Congress created the National Park Service as part of the Department of the Interior. It now manages and maintains more than 400 places, covering some 84,000,000 acres of land and 4,502,644 acres of oceans, lakes, and reservoirs. These areas receive more than 275 million visitors each year—or roughly two out of every three Americans.
With July being National Parks Month, now is a great time to visit. And for those in the military, checking out one of these amazing places won’t cost a dime: U.S. military members and dependents receive free admission! Access can be obtained by going in person to a Federal recreation site and showing your Common Access Card or Military ID.
So check out some of America’s wide-open spaces, and enjoy the grandeur and majesty of our national wonders.
America the Beautiful – Information about the military pass
Find a park near you – Park locater page from the National Parks Service
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea – Documentary from PBS