WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Obama Administration is proposing legislation to honor the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, which will be celebrated in 2016. The National Park Service Centennial Act would further the agency’s legacy of protecting, preserving and sharing some of the Nation’s most iconic sites with all Americans. The legislation proposes further funding for critical infrastructure projects, leveraging public-private donations and partnerships to enhance visitor experiences, and expanding volunteer and job opportunities in national parks and historic sites across the country.
“This proposal acknowledges the important place our national parks have in the hearts and minds of all Americans,” Secretary Jewell said. “This Administration and this Congress have the unique opportunity to shape the second century of the National Park Service as they preserve the legacy of some of our Nation’s greatest treasures for generations to come.”
The Centennial celebration marks the National Park Service’s 100-year milestone with the goal of connecting with and creating the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. In this Second Century of stewardship to America’s national parks, the National Park Service will continue its mission to help communities across the Nation preserve local history, celebrate local heritage, revitalize communities and create close-to-home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active and have fun.
“The National Park Service is celebrating the accomplishments of our first 100 years, but more importantly, we’re looking ahead to our next 100 years,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “This legislation gives us an opportunity to modernize our tools and meet the century-old mandate to protect, preserve and share with the American people the diverse and special places in our care.”
In 2014, national parks experienced a record-breaking 292.8 million visits, which translated into $29.7 billion in economic activity that supported nearly 277,000 jobs across the country.
The proposal, which would require action by Congress in order to be enacted, would provide new resources to help revitalize our national parks, upgrade park facilities, and connect a new, diverse generation to the great outdoors.
Key provisions include:
Earlier this year, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation announced the launch of Find Your Park, a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary. First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush are serving as honorary co-chairs to promote the celebration of the 2016 centennial and to encourage people to connect with their favorite parks and public lands.
For more information about the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration, visit their website.