Last year, the National Park Service shattered its previous attendance record by 14 million, attracting more than 307 million visitors. This year, traffic is already up nearly 3 million in year-to-date comparisons. And while the service won’t project another record-breaking year, 2016 is shaping up to be perhaps its busiest summer, as judged by events created to celebrate its centennial year. Yellowstone National Park, dating back to 1872, preceded the National Park Service, which was established 44 years later, on Aug. 25, 1916, to oversee the management of a growing roster of parks. That list now stands at 59, though the National Park Service oversees 411 sites, including national seashores, monuments, historic sites, trails and more. It’s those lesser-known sites that the administration hopes to popularize through its anniversary campaign, Find Your Park. “Most Americans understand National Parks to be a few places out west,” said Alexa Viets, the centennial coordinator for the National Park Service. “They know Yellowstone and Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. They don’t necessarily understand the breadth of the National Park Service and the wealth of places set aside for enjoyment and to tell American stories. We are making a concerted effort to celebrate across the… Read full this story
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