August 25, 2016 marks 100 years since the creation of the National Park Service, a single federal agency intended to oversee national parks, monuments, recreation areas, scenic trails, seashores, historic sites, parkways, reserves, and wild and scenic rivers.

Oft referred to as America’s Best Idea, a phrase coined by writer Wallace Stegner, the creation of the National Park Service (NPS) was an entirely original concept – the setting aside of some of the country’s finest natural beauty to be preserved for the public good – and a remarkable turning point in land-use decision making that has since been emulated by countries all across the world.

Earlier this year, Lifestyles featured how the NPS came to fruition, and created the column Celebrate the Centennial, highlighting the distinct beauty of an individual park each month this year. As NPS’s official August birthday is upon us, revisit the major milestones in its 100 year evolution to become what is now considered an indispensable American institution.







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