News Releases

Celebrating the National Parks Centennial

August 25th marks the 100th anniversary of the Organic Act of 1916. This piece of legislation created the agency known as the National Park Service. Since then the National Park Service has grown to include America’s treasured icons and historic places. Currently there are 412 parks in the National Park system, with parks and lands in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.

At De Soto National Memorial, established in 1948, we will be hosting two very symbolic events to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial. First the US Citizenship and Immigration Service will be conducting a naturalization ceremony at the park.They will administer the oath of allegiance to 15 candidates. The event will start before regular park business hours at 8:00 and will be finish by 8:45. The USCIS agency has conducted this type of ceremony in NPS locations many times and they have chosen the Centennial year celebration as a symbolic date to celebrate more than a few within the National Park Service.This event will be coordinated through the Public Affairs Office of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. All media requests should be coordinated through Naturalization Services POA at 407-237-8837.

The Second event at De Soto National Memorial will feature the Haile Middle School choir, performing the NPS Centennial Children's Anthem as well as the National Anthem. This is as part of the The Sing Across America campaign that encourages national parks across the country to host youth groups on or before August 25, 2016 to sing the “Centennial Children’s Anthem for National Parks.” The event is being coordinated by artist Louise Phillips. The NPS will be producing a short composite video of the performances. The Choir will start at 11:00 and hope to conclude the ceremony by 11:30. Parents, teachers, and school board officials will be on hand. The Public is welcome and encouraged to attend both events of this historic occasion. For questions about this celebration please call 941-792-0458, available between 9:00 to 5:00 daily. Admission and all activities are free. All activities are subject to change due to weather.

De Soto National Memorial is located at 8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy, Bradenton 34209. On I-75 take exit 220 SR-64 Manatee Ave. Go west to 75th street. Travel north, the park is located at the terminus of 75th street. De Soto National Memorial is open seven days a week. The Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. park grounds are open from sunrise to sunset. For more information please visit our website: , or receive up to the minute updates by liking us on Facebook.




The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.