National Park Service 2016 Centennial: A Brief Preview

Yellowstone National Park will be hosting a suite of events next summer, in honor of the National Park Service’s 2016 Centennial.

The NPS has been building toward this momentous occasion for the past few years, most notably with its Find Your Park initiative and the Every Kid In A Park program. Specifically, Yellowstone has been gearing up for the 2016 Centennial through a number of infrastructure projects, including the Albright Visitor Center restoration and its rededication, the creation of a new walkway around Old Faithful, and the ongoing Gardiner Gateway Project.

Summer 2016 will be jam packed with events and discussions about the NPS’ history, as well as public celebrations of Yellowstone’s history. For instance, the Lake Hotel, which recently finished its own series of renovations, will host a 125th anniversary event May 13, 2016.

The crowning event, undoubtedly, will be August 25, 2016, which marks the day President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the act creating the National Park Service. Called the Organic Act of 1916, it outlined the intent and purpose of the Service:

The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes 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.


Although there are no details regarding what will take place, organizers believe it will center on Gardiner and in more particular the Roosevelt Arch.

The 2016 Centennial celebration will also encompass the 30th anniversary of the Expedition Yellowstone program; a reunion is planned for participants. In addition, the Yellowstone Association is planning a series of programs and seminars to engage visitors and residents alike in the future of the National Park Service and, more specifically, the future of Yellowstone.

If you want to be in the Park while this all happens, it’s heartily recommended you make your reservations now and plan ahead. It’ll be a very busy summer.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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