While great views of Mt. Rainier are visible from almost anywhere around Pierce County, the view is especially impressive from the north end of American Lake. Imagine Mt. Rainier, or Mt. Tahoma as it originally was known, outlined with 100 very tall candles to mark this year’s occasion.
The occasion, in this case, happens to be on August 25, 2016 when America’s National Park Service turns 100. Since 1916, Americans have entrusted the care of their national parks to the National Park Service. Assisted by volunteers and park partners, the NPS safeguards more than 400 places and shares their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year.
The Centennial celebrates the past century’s achievements, but it’s really about the future. It’s about kicking off a second century of stewardship for America’s national parks and for communities across the nation. Most importantly, everyone is invited to take part.
The National Park Service and National Park Foundation have been working closely with partners and stakeholders across the country to ensure that this year’s event is more than a birthday. People around the country are encouraged to embrace the opportunities to explore, learn, be inspired or simply have fun in one or more of the 407 national parks, as well as understand how the National Park Service’s community-based recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs positively impact their own communities.
Consider joining with those who already know and love the parks and also the next generation of visitors, supporters, and advocates at FindYourPark.com or by using #FindYourPark on social media.
Take part by visiting any of the National Park sites nearest you, or consider an “arm-chair” tour by visiting a public library and checking out one of the many histories, travelogues, journals, DVDs or coffee-table photo books that focus on National Parks and related sites.
Dozens of books have been written about Pierce County’s most visible landmark: Mt. Rainier—“THE” Mountain. Below are just a few:
Theodore Winthrop’s 1854 account “Canoe and Saddle.” Take time to read Hamitchou’s Legend, a Native American account about a Nisqually chief who headed to the mountain in search of limitless richness, only to realize he possessed more valuable wealth at home.
“A Year in Paradise,” chronicles post WW I caretaker Floyd Schmoe’s account about his caretaker experiences at Paradise Lodge.
Check out Faye Fuller’s account, too. She was the first woman to ascend Rainier.
Ken Burns’ comprehensive six-disk DVD set covers the history about the parks and the park service: “The National Parks, America’s Best Idea,” by Dayton Duncan.
A few more NPS facts:
- The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. With its partners, it extends the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.
- More than 20,000-employees strong, the men and women of the National Park Service share a common trait: a passion for caring for the nation’s special places and sharing their stories.
- The National Park Service arrowhead logo was authorized in 1951 as its official emblem.The components of the arrowhead may have been inspired by key attributes of the National Park System, with the sequoia tree and bison representing vegetation and wildlife, the mountains and water representing scenic and recreational values, and the arrowhead representing historical and archeological values.
- The National Park Service is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior and is led by a Director nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
- The Director is supported by senior executives who manage national programs, policy, and budget in the Washington, DC, headquarters and seven regional directors responsible for national park management and program implementation.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov; www.fs.usda.gov/mthood/; www.nps.gov.crla