The Tetons and Snake River (1942)
The Tetons and Snake River (1942)
Ansel Adams, National Archive

A hundred years of asking what—and where—matters most

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“What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.”

We’re thinking about these words from boundary-breaking conservationist Mollie Beattie this week as we celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service.

As the country has grown and changed, so have its citizens' ideas about what should be saved: from a maze of canyons in Utah, to a murky wetland in Florida, to the sidewalk in front of a bar in the heart of New York City—and more than 400 other parks, rivers, trails, battlefields, monuments, memorials, and historic sites in between.

Since the National Park Service was founded on this day in 1916, we’ve chosen to save—and say—quite a lot. Here’s a look back at a century of creating and caring for the places that tell the story of America. Some of these parks are famous, some less so—but they've all been protected with help from Trust for Public Land supporters like you.

Since our founding in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has completed 205 projects in partnership with the National Park Service, including our latest: earlier today, we donated 282 acres to Arizona's Saguaro National Park.

Here's to the next 100 years!


Angie Unruh
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about these national wildlands! I absolutely hope that we are able to retain them as belonging to the people of America, to prevent their takeover by any private owner!!! With a great deal of good intent and love, I hope we many designate many more lands as national areas of recreation and renewal, to warm the heart and soul of all of us!

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