Happy birthday to the National Park Service!

tt2Diablo Lake at North Cascades National Park. Photo taken during Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Teen Trek program.

Join us in celebrating the National Park Service’s 100th birthday! On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau responsible for protecting the 35 national parks in existence at the time. Over the course of 100 years, the National Park Service has flourished, and our 35 national parks have grown to more than 400 national park sites. Here in Washington, we are blessed with 15 stunning national park sites, which attract more than 7,674,000 visitors a year. Our state’s three largest national parks—Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park—add up to an impressive 1,658,000+ acres of land.

Just like the National Park Service, Seattle Parks and Recreation believes that preserving open spaces and natural areas where residents can enjoy healthy activities like walking, hiking and rowing, helps people make connections to each other and experience the health benefits—both physical and mental—of time spent outdoors. We believe that just getting people moving is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. And parks, from the 500,000-acre North Cascades National Park to 534-acre Discovery Park, are the perfect places to start taking the first steps towards better health.

22593127961_28b872130b_kThe lighthouse at Discovery Park in Seattle.

The National Park Service is encouraging everyone to find their park—whether national, state or city parks. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial than by spending time outdoors in nature. Can’t make the trek to a national park? No problem! Seattle Parks and Recreation is blessed with over 6,300 acres of parkland, including 465 parks and 26 community centers. Whether enjoying some quiet time at tiny Pinehurst Pocket Park, or hiking through 350-acre Magnuson Park, we hope you get out and #FindYourPark today!

nps 1Watch this stunning commemorative video from the National Park Service.