The National Park Service is one of the agencies that protects, cares for, and teaches people about America's heritage, as well as the preservation of the scenic beauty that inspires. Learn more about the National Park Service history by reading the following documents.
NPS Organic Act
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the NPS Organic Act into law. This law created the National Park Service as an agency of the Department of the Interior and laid out its mission. The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.
A Brief History of the National Park Service
From Yosemite to Yellowstone, Chamizal to Chickasaw, and Gettysburg to the Grand Canyon, the parks administered by the National Park Service (NPS) shine across the United States of America. Today, the NPS manages almost 400 sites and employs more than 20,000 rangers at peak summer season. Yet like the small seeds of a California Coastal Redwood that ultimately grows to a height of 350 feet or higher, the NPS has evolved and grown over a long period of time.
NPS Caring for the American Legacy
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service (NPS), a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 40 national parks and monuments then in existence and those yet to be established. The NPS still strives to meet those original goals, while filling many other roles as well: guardian of our diverse cultural and recreational resources; environmental advocate; world leader in the parks and preservation community; and pioneer in the drive to protect America's open space. Following is a list of significant legislation that influenced the creation and growth of the national park system.
Celebrating Our Centennial
America's National Park Service (NPS) observed its 100th Birthday on August 25, 2016, exactly a century after President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created it as a new federal agency within the Department of the Interior. Its mission was defined, in part, "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 First Directors Mather and Albright
Last updated: August 9, 2018