National Park Service Celebrates 100th Birthday

The National Park Service turns 100 years old on August 25, 2016, and it is marking the milestone with an ad campaign aimed at raising awareness of just how diverse and magnificent America’s national parks are. More than forests, waterfalls and geysers, the National Park system actually encompasses 411 sites, including national monuments and designated historic landmarks such as the infamous federal prison on Alcatraz island in San Francisco, the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Iolani Palace in Hawaii, the World War II Japanese American concentration camp in Manzanar, California, and the gold mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado. No matter where you live in the U.S., there is a National Park site nearby.

The “Find Your Park” campaign, developed by Grey New York, urges people to check out the National Park sites in their area in a series of ads that celebrate the Park’s 100th birthday. The print ads use iconic landmarks to form the numeral 100, and a video that combines sights and sounds from multiple Park locations to “sing” Happy Birthday.

Note: While the National Park Service was created by an act signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, official National Parks existed long before. President Ulysses S. Grant declared Yellowstone the first national park in 1872. It was followed by Mackinaw Island in Michigan in 1875, but decommissioned in 1895. In 1890, Sequoia and Yosemite were designated national parks. All together, there are now 59 National Park areas. The National Park Service was actually created as part of the Organic Act of 1916 “to conserve the scenery and the natural objects and historic objects and wildlife therein”…and “to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”