National Parks are an excellent destination for everyone. They offer a wide variety of fun for all ages and skill levels. But how did they come about?
Yellowstone was the very first National Park in the world, created in 1872. But before that, President Lincoln created the Yosemite Grant Act to protect the land. This act set a precedent for the future National Park system.
The most recent National Park?
White Sands in New Mexico was just changed from National Monument to Park. It’s not uncommon for land to change from Park to Monument or even form National Park to state-owned land! Papago Park in Phoenix was once a National Monument!
Through the 1900s National Parks were independently managed. The first superintendent of Yellowstone was given no pay and no staff. Eventually, park management was given to the Army. President Woodrow Wilson later established the much needed National Park Service for the management of the public lands. The NPS falls under the Department of Interior and was required to preserve the parks for future generations.
President Theodore Roosevelt is often thought of as the leader of National Parks. And for a good reason! He created five new parks, 18 National Monuments, and much more.
National Parks and Monuments vary based on the reason why the land is set aside. Parks are preserved for their scenic and recreational value.
A separate act was signed in 1906 to establish National Monuments. National Monuments are areas of cultural or historical significance. Monuments can include buildings like Ford Theater.
The USA isn’t the only country to create a national park system. There are around 1200 national parks in over 100 countries!
What has been your favorite park visit so far?
Did you like this brief history? I am thinking about writing up histories and facts about the parks that I have visited. I think it could be fun to reminisce and share photos!