American Nomad Blog
About this blog
American Nomad covers the best of U.S. travel—from vacation deals to festivals, weekend getaways, travel tips, and more. A seasoned traveler and Moon author, Laura is the perfect guide to help discover new gems when traveling domestically.
- A Southern Girl's Wintertime Adventure in Yellowstone
- One Novelist's Odyssey Across America
- Gearing up for a Family Camping Trip
- Mint Juleps and More at Oak Alley Plantation
- Avoiding Identity Theft While on Vacation
- Money-Saving Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
- Fashion, Fun, and Convenience for the Modern Traveler
- In Search of Irish Museums Across America
- The Inspiring Journey of a Solo Kayaker
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 2
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 1
- Experiencing Yosemite with YExplore
- Two Travel Contests Worth Mentioning
- A Word About the TSA's No-No List
- A Reader's Advice About Airport Security
Birthday Wishes for the National Park Service
Though the day is drawing to a close, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a minute to wish the National Park Service a happy 94th birthday. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act, which, as the name indicates, created the National Park Service. At the time, this new agency was established within the Department of the Interior to “promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations,” the purpose of which “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.” All parks that existed prior to this act – such as Yellowstone National Park, which was established in 1872 as the nation's first national park – were merged into the new system.
Today, the National Park Service protects more than 390 parks, monuments, battlefields, seashores, recreation areas, and other units, encompassing more than 84 million acres in nearly every state and territory. As mentioned in previous posts, I've been privileged enough to experience many of these wondrous places, including the National Mall, Carlsbad Caverns, Pictured Rocks, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Everglades, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mammoth Cave, and the Statue of Liberty. So, I'm very grateful for Founders Day, as the park service calls August 25th, and I hope you are, too! Be sure, then, to celebrate the amazing parks that compose the National Park System – whether by visiting them or, if that's not always possible, by making a small donation for their continued upkeep and survival.
For more information about America's national parks, consult the National Park Service's comprehensive website or pick up one of several, park-related Moon travel guides, including Moon Acadia National Park, Moon Blue Ridge & Smoky Mountains, Moon Glacier National Park, Moon Grand Canyon, Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, Moon Yellowstone & Grand Teton, Moon Yosemite, and Moon Zion & Bryce. Of course, though no traveler should require an official notice to celebrate the National Park Service, I can't help saying it again... Happy 94th Birthday, NPS! May you inspire plenty of people – young or old, rich or poor – for many years to come!
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Disclosure: While I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and my Moon travel guides is my unbiased reflection of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Photo of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore / Text © 2010 Laura Martone