The National Park System is one of the most diverse and diverse institutions in America, and it’s also one of its most enduring, the parks service said in a statement Monday.
As it turns out, we can’t forget its roots in the Civil War.
“The National Park system was created in 1861 and the first park was established on July 2, 1871 in the town of Grand Junction, Colorado, in the U.S. Territory of Utah,” the agency said.
“In the years that followed, parks across the country were established and, through a combination of funding, federal grants and private donations, were able to provide thousands of families and individuals with a great variety of recreation opportunities for years to come.”
In the Civil Rights Era, the park system was the primary resource in the black community and many of its parks were set aside as memorials to the lives lost during the Civil Wars.
In the past 50 years, it has been the only place where people of color have been able to visit and work together, and the park service says it’s made significant progress toward a brighter future.
It also has helped to change the face of the national parks and their history, the statement said.
In fact, the National Parks Service said in the statement that it was “unusual” that we had “a diversity of communities and people” at the agency, but said it was important to celebrate this “special place that has helped shape the United States.”