President Nixon’s Legacy of Parks
Celebrating National Park Week:
This week we celebrate America's National Parks and recognize the lasting impact of President Nixon's innovative Legacy of Parks program.
"It was in 1872 that Congress established our first national park at Yellowstone . . . That was a time when Americans were more interested in taming the wilderness than preserving it; yet farsighted and sensitive men and women were able to begin the great work of preservation even then," said President Nixon in a 1971 statement about the Legacy of Parks program.
The program led to the transfer of 80,000 acres underused federal land to states and local governments for recreational use. That resulted in a whopping 642 new parks by 1976.
Parks and the Great Outdoors continue to play important roles within America's national identity. Their creation and preservation, as President Nixon pointed out, serves as a means to keep America's past alive while providing timeless enjoyment for hikers, families and tourists.