Happy 100th Birthday to the National Parks System!
Chances are you are familiar, or at least have heard of Everglades National Park. Yes, you know it is a big grassy swamp in South Florida that hosts a bounty of wildlife, specifically the Florida Alligator. But what is it about this vast natural land that has provided it the opportunity to become designated an official “National Park”? Let’s travel back in time to learn a little bit more about the National Park System as a whole.
Interestingly enough, the National Park System began because of art. In the mid-1800s, an artist by the name of George Catlin began a movement to protect the subjects he enjoyed to paint which included native americans and sweeping landscapes of the American West.
As time progressed, so did American expansion which eventually began to degrade the stunning landscapes that spread across the Nation. Yosemite Valley was one of the first sights to show wear and was also one of the first locations that nature advocates fought to protect. President Abraham Lincoln signed a decree that stated that this area “be used and preserved for the benefit of mankind” on the condition that the land would “be held for public use, resort, and recreation… inalienable for all time.” It was officially designated a National Park in October 1890.
It was when President Theodore Roosevelt took office in the early 1900s that the National Park System was developed. Roosevelt named 18 national “natural” monuments by the end of his term which also became national parks. The National Park System was officially established and recognized in 1916.
The Florida Everglades joined the list of beloved National Parks on December 6, 1947 after a string of South Florida Political controversy and disagreement. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, who we have discussed in previous blog posts, published “River of Grass” in 1947 and this book is credited with assisting to secure the area for preservation, along with efforts from many other area activists.
We would like to congratulate the National Parks System on its 100th birthday this year! Our nation would not be the same without the beautifully preserved areas visited by millions across the country every year. Wish the National Parks System a Happy Birthday right here.
At Everglades Adventure, we encourage you to get out and explore our nation’s national parks, they were preserved for your enjoyment. And as always, let us be your trusty guide when delving into the Glades!