Our National Park System
Since 1872, the United States National Parks System has grown from a single, public reservation called Yellowstone National Park to embrace over 450 natural, historical, recreational, and cultural areas throughout the United States, its territories, and island possessions. These areas include a diverse varieties of areas —Parks, Monuments, Memorials, Military Parks, Parkways, Recreation Area, Seashores, Scenic River Ways, Scenic Trails, and others.
Parks are the living, breathing monuments to our nation’s history, culture, and landscape. In some ways, they represent the soul of the Nation. They need care and support to overcome the many dangers that threaten to destroy them forever, such as pollution and and an increasing lack of funds from Congress for the vital care and support they need. The Park Rangers, charged with this protection, need our help as well, by visiting and volunteering at a park near you.
Next week is National Parks Week and the folks here at Let’s Go Chipper want to encourage all of you to take the family to your local Park to show your support for the priceless benefit to our lives, health and education that parks give. We want to encourage our future generations to champion the park systems by appreciating their beauty and fun. Junior Park Ranger programs are one great way to embed this appreciation and interest. Join us in raising awareness and necessary funds to support local playgrounds and our national park systems by buying one of our Chipper for Parks Badges. You can leave a specific park in your order and we will contribute a portion of the price directly in your name.
The National Parks Service also has “Fee Free Days” each year where you don’t have to pay any entry fees to gain access to the park. (“Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.“)
Fee Free Days:
• January 14-16 (Martin Luther King Jr. weekend)
• April 21-29 (National Park Week)
• June 9 Get (Outdoors Day)
• September 29 (National Public Lands Day)
• November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend)
This deal applies to the 397 national parks that in the USA, but of the total national parks many don’t charge regular admission fees. To find out if there is a national park near you this Easter Weekend that is free year-round check out the U.S. National Park Service’s Find A Park page and explore the great outdoors!
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is one of the newest to enter the national park system. It was quite controversial with people in western states saying we don’t have enough money to operate the existing park system. They didn’t want this new park siphoning off money.