RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- This year, the Ridgewood Fourth of July Celebration Parade will honor the creation of the National Park Service.
"America the Beautiful – Celebrating 100 Years of our National Parks" honors the creation of the National Park Service through the Organic Act of 1916 signed by President Woodrow Wilson and originated by President Theodore Roosevelt.
This theme will be the basis for the parade float competition among the town's elementary schools.
Although national parks have existed since 1872, the creation of the National Park Service established a unified organization to oversee the natural and historic treasures of the United States and ensure their continued preservation and enjoyment for future generations.
There are more than 400 parks, monuments, recreation areas and other federal sites under its management, according to the National Park Service.
Other notable facts include:
- The first national park was Yellowstone National Park, founded March 1, 1872
- About 292 million people enjoyed the nation's national parks in 2014
- The National Park System covers more than 84 million acres across the United States and territories
- President Theodore Roosevelt said, "It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it"
Ridgewood's celebration will be Monday, July 4.
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