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National Parks and Preserve America
The National Park System
The National Park System is administered by the National Park Service, a bureau of the Department of the Interior. Begun with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 1872, the National Park System includes areas of historical as well as scenic and scientific importance throughout the United States.
Thanks to a century of custodianship by National Park rangers and volunteers, our awe-inspiring landscapes and iconic structures will be treasured for centuries to come. Mrs. Bush tries to go hiking and camping in a different national park each year. She encourages all Americans to learn more about how they can enjoy our magnificent parks.
The National Park Service created the Junior Ranger program in the 1960s to help children and families appreciate historical and national landmarks around the country. The Junior Ranger program operates in 297 of the 390 National Parks across the country. The National Park Foundation has joined the National Park Service to raise support for the Junior Ranger Program. Mrs. Bush is the honorary chair of the National Park Foundation.
National Park Centennial Initiative
As its honorary chair, Mrs. Bush works with Preserve America to encourage communities to preserve, restore and protect historical buildings and sites for environmental reasons, for economic reasons, and so future generations will take pride in their heritage.
The Preserve America Initiative recognizes communities across the nation for protecting and celebrating their heritage, using their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encouraging people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs. Preserve America communities work hard to sustain and promote their places in history.
Administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Preserve America is an initiative that reaches across the Administration by partnering with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation; U.S. General Services Administration; National Endowment for the Humanities; President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.