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On August 25, Mammoth Cave National Park will commemorate the establishment of the National Park Service by offering free Mammoth Passage cave tours to the public. The Mammoth Passage tour is a ¾ mile, 1 ¼ hour guided tour of Mammoth Cave, through the Historic Entrance, Rotunda, and Broadway; the free tours will depart from the visitor center at 8:45 a.m., 9:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 12:30 p.m., 2:00, 3:00, and 4:45.
“Founder’s Day is the day Congress signed the Organic Act into law creating the National Park Service back in 1916,” said Superintendent Patrick Reed. “The National Park Service is already planning for our centennial in 2016. This summer we have benefited here at Mammoth Cave with the ability to hire 34 Centennial Seasonal staff. They are a boon to our summer operation.”
Mammoth Cave’s Centennial Seasonals are guiding tours, patrolling trails, parking cars, checking remote cave entrances, mowing, trimming, painting, and doing river clean up.
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 responsible for protecting 35 national parks and monuments. The Organic Act states:
“…the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
“The parklands are an enduring legacy of this country,” added Reed. “Our hope is that through Centennial initiatives and programs, the National Park Service will engage new generations of Americans in the values of their national parks, which will ensure their care for a second century.”
The National Park Service manages 391 areas, covering more than 84 million acres in every state (except Delaware), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.
- NPS -