Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service!

Parks across the country are celebrating a major milestone this month and there are plenty of ways you can celebrate right here in Michigan.

One hundred years ago, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, which is responsible for protecting the country’s national parks.

The official centennial will be observed on Aug. 25, and according to the National Parks’ website, it will “kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks,” and engage communities “through recreation, conservation and historic preservation programs.”

Park entrance fees will be waived nationwide from Aug. 25 to 28.

In Michigan, we’re fortunate to enjoy seven national parks and historical sites, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historic Park, North Country National Scenic Trails, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, River Raisin National Battlefield Park and the Motor Cities National Heritage Area.

Here’s how you and your family can celebrate your favorite national parks this month:

  1. Attend scheduled centennial events at Keweenaw National Historic Park and at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
  2. If you can’t make it to a park on the scheduled free entrance days, take advantage of the Michigan Activity Pass program, which is partnering with the National Park Service’s Every Kid in a Park initiative to provide free passes to parents or educators of fourth graders this year.
  3. Download a fun Centennial Junior Ranger activity book featuring photos, facts, conservation tips, and more.
  4. Tell others about your favorite national park through a picture, song, poem or video here.

Which Michigan-based national park is your favorite? Tell us why in the comments.

Photo credit: Rodney Campbell






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