Ninety one years ago today, Congress approved a bill which is now simply referred to as the Organic Act. This is the one which directs the National Park Service to manage parks "by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." On August 25th each year, those close to the parks recognize today as Founder's Day. In recent years, the day has become an opportunity to talk about the future of the parks. Last year we learned of the Centennial Initiative, this year, we've heard the Interior's new proposed programs as well as statements from the NPS Retirees, and from the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Raul Grijalva (AZ). He says,
As the NPS Centennial approaches, there is a consensus among policy makers and the American people that this milestone must be viewed as an opportunity to recommit ourselves to enhancing the National Park System and building a stronger, more diverse, better trained, and better equipped National Park Service. I am committed to working to help ensure that our National Parks and NPS employees can successfully meet the challenges of the next 100 years.
There are some special events happening around the parks today, on this 91st anniversary of the agency. In Washington D.C., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in President’s Park the celebration will take place at the White House Visitor Center. Visitors can win prizes by testing their knowledge of the NPS in a fun and engaging game show called “Are You Smarter than a Park Ranger?” Book readings, crafts, and games will be available for all family members.
At the brand new Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, the premiere of "Grand Teton National Park: Life on the Edge," a documentary film created by Discovery Communications through the National Park Foundation Proud Partner Program, will premiere. The 24-minute film offers an engaging portrait of the Teton landscape by juxtaposing historic images, such as classic photography by Ansel Adams, and new footage of contemporary recreational activities in the park. The documentary also portrays the park’s geological and biological resources and mountain rescue operations.
In San Diego, California, there will be an open house at the Cabrillo National Monument, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A highlight of the day will be living history and tours at the 19th-century Old Point Loma Lighthouse. This is one of two days each year that the lighthouse’s tower is open to the public. Put into operation on November 15, 1855, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was one of the first eight lighthouses built on the West Coast. It played a critical role in the growth of maritime commerce along the coast and in development in the West.
And, for those of you living or touring through Iowa, stop in at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. There are a number of activities planned for the day, and admission to the site and the Presidential Library and Museum will be free.