Celebrate How Presidents Shaped National Parks

The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial is on a small island in the Potomac River. Congress approved funds in 1960 and the memorial was dedicated Oct. 27, 1967. Courtesy/NPF

National Park Foundation:

As we observe Presidents Day, the National Park Foundation remembers the leaders who helped shape the nation’s public lands.

The lessons of conservation and protection passed down by these trailblazing Presidents have given us the beautiful parks that we know and love.

For example, President Lincoln set aside a large section of the Yosemite Valley for public use – the first time that had ever been done in the United States. In 1890, that land would become Yosemite National Park.

However, park lovers may be most indebted to Theodore Roosevelt. During his presidency, Roosevelt protected roughly 230 million acres of public land, including five national parks.

For over a century, presidents and their families have played a pivotal role in shaping our national parks. Lady Bird Johnson, along with philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller, lobbied Congress to create the National Park Foundation in 1967.

As we reflect on the leaders that helped create our national parks, we recognize that you have proven to be a leader as well. Your support of the National Park Foundation allows us to protect these national treasures, connect more people to them, and engage a new generation of park lovers. Thank you!

We are grateful for your support, and hope you get the chance to surround yourself with nature by visiting a national park soon.