National Park Service Turning 100 Years Old

The National Park Service turns 100 years old on Thursday.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has been celebrating all year, and invites you to a special all-day party.

The National Park Service was created August 25,1916.

Sleeping Bear Dunes is taking this special time to introduce more people to America’s natural resources.

“Initially it was the big western parks. The yellow stone, the Yosemites that were set aside. But now there are 412 National Park Service sites all across the county. Not just out west, but in every state,” said Sleeping Bear Dunes Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services Merrith Baughman.

The National Park Service’s birthday is a celebration of the idea that the most beautiful places in the country should be set aside for everyone to own and enjoy.

“It’s just a great natural wonder. You look around and you’ve got the lake over here, where else can you go where you have sand like this and you can walk barefoot?” said Jeff Henrikson, who’s visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes with friends this week.

Sleeping Bear Dunes has had special events all year to celebrate.

Tomorrow there will be events on the hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“You can come to the visitor’s center and see our law enforcement equipment,” Baughman said. “What does it take to protect the people who come here to the park? You can have coffee with the superintendent in the morning and just have a chance to talk with Scott.”

Eric and Renuka Adelizzi are in Michigan with friends.

They’ve been visiting national parks all year.

“We got married in February. And we went out to Arizona, hit the Grand Canyon. Then we went up to Alaska and did Kenai Fjords? And Glacier Bay, now we’re here at Sleeping Bear Dunes,” said Eric Adelizzi said.

A celebration of treasures that the National Park Service hopes will encourage more people to explore what the national parks have to offer.

“We’re so fortunate to live in a country that has such a variety of nature and beautiful places. Really we traveled all over the world and this is some of the best scenery,” Renuka Adelizzi said.

Entry to every national park is free from August 25 to August 28 in celebration of the Park Service’s birthday.