The Role of the United States in the World Community Featured Places

The National Park Service cares for America's more than 400 national parks…and works in almost every one of her 3,141 counties. We are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close to home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun. Find a few selected important places outside the parks here and explore the links for more. Then explore what you can do to share your own stories and the places that matter to you.

Spanish Colonial Missions of the Southwest: The stories and legacies of the Spanish Colonial missions are part of our national story and they highlight the common heritage the United States shares with Spain, Mexico and Latin America. Spain was not alone in missionary enterprises throughout the New World. French and Portuguese missionaries also made inroads in Canada, Brazil, and other parts of the Americas.

El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail is a bi-national trail, three-quarters of which winds through the central highlands of Mexico. El Camino Real tracks a different European settlement story of the U.S., one that emphasizes the shared history and heritage of Spain, Mexico and the American Southwest. The trail's 16th-century origins pre-date both Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, while its historic faces, places and three-century legacy as a multi-ethnic point of cultural connection and exchange offer new touchstones of American history.

World Heritage Sites in the United States: The United States is proud to preserve and protect its World Heritage Sites. World Heritage Sites are a relatively small number of places on earth that have been formally determined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee to possess "outstanding universal value" to humanity for their exceptional cultural and natural significance.

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and World Heritage Site straddles the northern Rocky Mountains along the border between the United States and Canada. The world's first "international park," the combined site encompasses breathtaking snowcapped mountains, high-altitude lakes, and rivers cascading from glaciers.

Last updated: March 22, 2016

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