Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
Join the party! America’s National Park Service is celebrating its centennial anniversary.
After decades of lobbying by passionate conservationists, including President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir, for a special agency to oversee the country’s national parks and monuments, finally they succeeded.
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior, to protect the 35 national parks and monuments that existed then and any future parks.
Thanks to the vision and pioneering work of nature lovers who saw the beauty and value in America’s undisturbed forests, mountains, valleys, deserts and coasts, these areas –
from Yellowstone and Yosemite to the Grand Canyon. Denali and the Everglades
– are now protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Keep it for your children, your children’s children,
and for all who come after you. – Theodore Roosevelt
Today there are 58 national parks in all with California and Alaska – with eight parks each – having more parks than any other state.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel, who were both Girl Scouts, grew up camping and know how lucky we are in America to have so many national parks to explore and enjoy. What’s more, many of them are right on the beach! Each of the eight parks below offers a unique coastal experience that celebrates the world of nature.
Redwood Forest National and State Park, North of San Francisco, combines the majesty of the giant Redwoods with 40 miles of pristine coastline.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, near Malibu, is a breathtaking ocean retreat just a short drive from Los Angeles.
Channel Islands National Park, off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA, encompasses five islands that are home to many rare species of plants and animals and archaeological and cultural sites.
Olympic National Park, in Washington, has close to a million acres of beautiful vistas from glacier-topped Mt. Olympus and old-growth rain forests to over 70 miles of raw coastline.
Cape Cod National Park, Massachusetts, has over 40 miles of beaches, marshes and ponds. Observing its tranquility, Henry David Thoreau said, “A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”
Acadia National Park, Maine, a 47,000-mile getaway on a rugged coast, offers the chance to see moose, whales, and bears against a backdrop of deserted beaches and granite mountain peaks.
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii, on Maui, is considered a sacred spot and offers the opportunity to see glorious sunsets over the Haleakala volcanic crater.
These coastal treasures – and America’s 50 other national parks – would be standouts on any Bucket List!
Whether you want to swim, surf, hike, walk, or just admire the view, there’s a park waiting for you to discover and to celebrate on this National Park Service Centennial.
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