• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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    Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »

National Park Service Agency with a Mission

Program Description:

This program will give students an opportunity to interact with an NPS Park Ranger who will discuss with students the reasons behind the formation of the agency and its mission to preserve America's special places for future generations. Conversation topics will include the various types of park service sites, how parks are established, why some parks become national parks while others are only national monuments or memorials, and the famous arrowhead symbol and what each part of it signifies. The final portion of the program will focus on the career opportunities in the National Park Service and the importance of developing the next generation of park stewards - and park rangers.

Students will learn about:

  • The formation of the National Park Service (NPS)
  • NPS Mission - The Organic Act of 1916
  • The different kinds of parks
  • How National Parks are established - and by whom
  • The arrowhead and its meanings
  • Career opportunities - the NPS future and you

Length: 60 minutes*

*Note: When making the reservation please inform park staff of the length of the class period in which this program will be given. The program can be adjusted as needed.

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Did You Know?

reproduction of keelboat on Arkansas River with first fort soldier reenactors

Fort Smith was established on Christmas Day, 1817. Approximately 70 Rifle Regiment soldiers arrived by keelboat after a long journey on the Arkansas River.