This is the audio-only described version of the National Park Service’s official brochure of its entire system. Side one of the brochure is a map of the United States with several smaller inset maps of specific areas. Parks are identified on these maps. Through photographs, illustrations and text, side two presents the highlights of the National Park Service’s 100 years from 1916 to 2016 and looks into its future.
The brochure is titled, "National Park Service Centennial 1916 to 2016." The black banner displaying the brochure title, similar to other National Park Service brochures, extends vertically across the left edge of the map when open. The map is credited to the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov, August 25, 2016. A shaded National Park Service arrowhead appears in the corner.
A map of the contiguous United States extends horizontally across the front of the brochure, filling most of the space. There are five insets across the bottom of the map: Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. Each map shows the shaded topography and is colored to suggest desert or forested areas. Long blue trails extend north and south through the eastern United States. Small black print labels and colored areas indicate National Park System Areas distributed around the country. Labels are congested on the East Coast and lists of parks in the Boston Area, New York City Area, Philadelphia Area, Baltimore Area, and Washington DC Area are located over the Atlantic Ocean. The map includes a legend and abbreviations for National Park System areas. A small map of the world with North America centered is labeled, "Where the Parks Are." Small portions of Canada and Mexico are visible, but unlabeled on the contiguous map.
Lists of parks organized alphabetically and by state are found under their own titles.
The contiguous United States map shows shaded elevation, with the mountainous area covering much of the Western United States. These mountains, as well as the small range of mountains extending north and south near the East Coast, are colored orange-brown and fade into light brown, then green and gray as the shaded relief disappears in the Plains and coasts. States, rivers, and major bodies of water are labeled. Green shapes labeled with park area names are scattered throughout much of the West and, to a lesser extent, the East. Small type labels crowd the map in several areas, especially the East Coast. Adjacent to the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean are lists of parks in the Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC Areas.
Lists of parks organized alphabetically and by state are found under their own titles.
District of Columbia
This inset shows the locations of the contiguous United States map and five insets on a small world map centered on North and South America. It is positioned north of the Great Lakes. The map shows the Arctic Circle, Equator, and International Date Line.
The six labels span 11 time zones:
Guam has one park, American Samoa has one park, Hawaii has eight parks, Alaska has 23 parks. The contiguous US has 373 parks, and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have six parks.
The Alaska inset shows the state's location between Russia and Canada. The bodies of water labeled are, clockwise beginning at the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska: Beaufort Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Church Sea. Large green areas labeled with park names occupy significant areas of the mountainous state. The Yukon River stretches across the state from west to east. The scale is available in miles and kilometers.
The Hawaii inset labels the main islands in the Pacific Ocean. The largest national park system area is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. Several smaller sites dot that island and many of the others.
The islands in the inset for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands are located within the Atlantic Ocean and, in a smaller label, the Caribbean Sea. Several parks dot the tiny eastern islands, which are the Virgin Islands. A single park area (San Juan National Historic Site) is labeled on the largest and western island, which is Puerto Rico.
Nestled between the Hawaii and Guam insets is the legend for the maps. Text notes that, the "Map depicts the 412 authorized National Park Service units." Within the map, a green dot indicates the location of the city where the national park unit is located. A white dot with a black outline indicates a city that is close by. The name of the city is next to the white dot.
Text also notes that, “For more information about National Trails administered by the National Park Service, visit: www.nps.gov/nts. For Wild and Scenic Rivers information, visit: www.nps.gov/wsr.”
There is a scale in kilometers and miles. Approximately one and a half inches equals 200 miles and one inch equals 200 kilometers on all maps except for Alaska. For Alaska, approximately one and a half inches equals 400 miles and one inch equals 400 kilometers.
A key for abbreviations for National Park System areas is just above the US Canada area of the large map. These abbreviations typically follow the name of the park and designate each park’s unit type. They are:
Nestled between the Hawaii and Guam insets lies the map legend. It notes, "Map depicts the 412 authorized National Park Service units." A green dot indicates "City with National Park Service unit." A white dot with black outline indicates, "Other CIty." For more information about National Trails administered by the National Park Service, visit: www.nps.gov/nts. For Wild and Scenic Rivers information, visit: www.nps.gov/wsr. There is a scale in kilometers and miles for all areas except Alaska.
The back of the wide, rectangular brochure is colorful with many photographs and short paragraphs of text grouped with images. The brochure is organized with the first section spanning the horizontal space in the top half. It is titled, “The National Park Service in the Next 100 Years.” Introductory text accompanies a composite image. A green border separates this section from the bottom half, which has two equally sized sections. A large quote by John Muir spans the middle of the sections. It states: “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” The lower left section is titled “Shaping the National Park System," and includes a timeline with images beginning in the 1860s and ending in 2016. The lower right section is titled “Reaching Beyond Park Boundaries” and includes brief text accompanied by images about current roles of the National Park Service. The bottom of the brochure is lined with green silhouettes of iconic animals and buildings. Beneath the silhouettes, numerical facts about national parks and people add up to quote: “100 years and beyond.”
The content of each section and descriptions of associated images are presented under their own titles.
This introductory section, titled “National Park Service in the Next 100 Years,” occupies the top half of the rectangular brochure. It includes a quote, brief paragraphs of text, and a large composite image that extends horizontally across the bottom of this section.
The composite image is comprised of colorful photos of people in front of a background of two faded scenic photos. The left background photo is of a snow-covered mountain range in Denali National Park. The right background photo is of San Juan National Historic Site in which the historic rock wall leads to a fort atop an outcropping that meets the ocean.
The section begins with a large quote that precedes three brief columns of text. The quote, from National Park Service Director Horace M. Albright in 1933, states: “Do not let the service become just another executive government bureau; keep it youthful, vigorous, clean, and strong.”
Photo credits: Denali: National Park Service and Patrick Gregerson. San Juan: Michael Sharp.
Three columns of text next to the quote read, “In 1916 Congress created the National Park Service to oversee America’s beloved places. While the first century has focused on the agency’s dual mission of stewardship and enjoyment, its reach now extends across geographical and cultural frontiers—far beyond the original notion of a 'park.' Besides the 400-plus parks in the National Park System, the NPS oversees national trails, national heritage areas, wild and scenic rivers, and many other places and programs. We spearhead learning initiatives, help communities preserve their distinct heritage, share our expertise across international boundaries, adapt to the evolving needs of our visitors and partners, conduct scientific research, and protect the public. As America’s story changes, so do the ways it is told. Today’s parks are about everything from atomic bombs to zooplankton, from Ice Age migrations to 21st century immigration. Below is a brief description of our growth and evolution over the first 100 years, along with a look at the many paths forward.”
Starting at the left side of the composite photo, which is over the faded background photo of the Denali National Park mountain range, is a middle-aged male park ranger with brown skin wearing a radio attached to his uniform. His uniform includes a gray button-down shirt, green pants with a brown belt and a straw hat with a flat brim. To his right is a younger, female park ranger with brown skin. She also wears a National Park Service uniform, but instead has a green ball cap with the National Park Service arrowhead on the front face of the cap. To her right is a young boy with pale skin wearing a vest and floppy hat. The left top of his vest has the words “junior ranger” sewn in gold. Both his hat and vest are covered in pinned gold badges. He gives a thumbs up with his right hand. To the right of the young boy is a crouching man with a tan. He wears sunglasses, a ball cap with a National Park Service arrowhead on the face, a green shirt and pants, and a yellow safety vest with reflective strips. Next to him and in the center of the composite image, straddling both background images of Denali National Park and San Juan National Historic Site, is a group of six smiling, young adults in blue shirts with name tags. The group consists of a woman with brown skin and long dark hair, two tall and thin men with pale skin in the background, a woman with pale skin and red hair wearing wide sunglasses, and two women with dark skin and shortish hair in the foreground. On two of their shirts, the words “conservation begins here” are visible. On the shirts of some of the others in the upper left is a white outline of a leaf and underneath, the letters “SCA.” The woman in the center of the group has a National Park Service name tag pinned to the upper right area of her shirt. Her left hand is lifted and points forward.
There are three more people on the right side of the brochure in front of the background photo of San Juan National Historic Site. The first is an older woman with pale, wrinkled skin and short, graying hair under a rose-colored ball cap, with a blue bird on the shoulder of her shirt. Her eyes are obscured by the telescope she is looking through. To her right is a young man with dark brown skin standing tall and formally posed in a historic costume. The costume consists of a brown vest with a rounded lapel and covered brown buttons over a white shirt. The wide brim of his hat is turned up slightly and has a nearly flat top. The final person in this composite is a woman with pale skin and shoulder-length brown hair. She leans forward and smiles broadly beneath a green, brimmed outdoors hat with straps. She wears a tan uniform shirt with a National Park Service volunteer shoulder patch and name tag.
Photo Credits: Woman in rose-colored cap: National Park Service, Kirke Wrench. All other photos: National Park Service
In the lower left section of the brochure, beneath the heading, “Shaping the National Park System,” is a timeline extending from the 1860s to 2016. Timeline entries and associated black and white and color photographs are grouped together under their own titles.
A historic black and white photo of two middle-aged white men dressed in loose pants, shirts, and jackets, wearing brimmed hats pose on the edge of a large rock outcropping above a wide canyon with steep walls. The man on the left is heavy-set and wears a kerchief and round wire-frame glasses. The man on the right has a long, pale beard. The expansive canyon walls are covered by a sparse forest. Distant mountains rise behind the canyon below a clear sky. Text obscures the bottom left corner of the photo, "1860s: Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove granted to the state of California for protection. Both incorporated into Yosemite National Park in 1890. Right: President Theodore Roosevelt and conservationist John Muir at Yosemite, 1903." The photo is credited to the Library of Congress.
Two photos are grouped with three dates on the timeline: 1870s, 1900s, and 1916. The first is a color photo of a vertical silk-screen style poster with a plume of steam rising above a landscape. The words "Yellowstone National Park" and "Ranger Naturalist Service" are legible. The second photo is a black and white portrait of an older man with pale skin wearing a flat-brimmed hat and dark fitted coat. The entry for 1916 notes that this is the first National Park Service director, business man and conservationist Stephen T. Mather. The timeline entries read: “1870s: Yellowstone established in 1872, world's first national park. More national parks soon to follow. 1900s: Antiquities Act authorizes presidents to set aside federal lands as national monuments. 1916: August 25: Organic Act creates National Park Service and places existing parks and monuments under its oversight."
Photo credit: Yellowstone Poster: Library of Congress
The entry begins, "1920s: George Melendez Wright, the first chief of NPS wildlife division, begins formal studies of wild species, especially those endangered. Today George Wright Society continues his holistic view of park management." The text is accompanied by an oval black and white photo portrait of George Melendez Wright, a man in his late twenties or early thirties with neatly groomed wavy hair wearing a suit and tie.
Photo credit: George Wright Society
The entry begins, “1930s: War Department’s parks and monuments and Forest Service’s national monuments transferred to NPS management. Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration build roads, trails, and visitor centers in national and state parks.” Grouped with the text entry is a color photo of a circular patch with blue rim and gold, olive, and orange accents. In the center is a pine tree and the words, “Civilian Conservation Corps.” Adjacent to this patch is a color image of a red, white, and blue square-like poster with text. “USA” is bracketed with stars against a blue bar, “Work Program” is against a white bar and “WPA” is against a red bar.
Photo credits: Patch: Gerald Williams Collection, Oregon State University; USA WPA Work Program: National Archives
The entry begins, “1950s: NPS embarks on 'Mission 66' initiative to upgrade facilities, staffing, and resource management by agency’s 50th anniversary. NPS adds lakeshores, seashores, trails, recreational areas, and historic sites like Thomas Edison’s home.” The faded color photo accompanying the entry is identified as Thomas Edison’s home, a three-story red building at the top of a rolling mowed lawn surrounded by mature shrubs and trees. Many peaks and chimneys extend upwards. Above each window is a black awning. On the left side of the building is an enclosed porch that extends beyond the main house. Its large windows are made of many small panes. This entry is also accompanied by a black and white image of a hand-drawn sketch of an arrowhead and tree, with the words “Department of the Interior” and “National Park Service.” The caption notes that this arrowhead sketch is the basis for the familiar NPS insignia, first used in 1952. Adjacent to this sketched image is a black and white line drawing of the modern NPS insignia with sharp, clean lines. It closely resembles the current NPS insignia on the opposite side of this brochure.
The National Park Service's modern-day insignia is of a brown scallop-edged arrowhead. At the bottom in front of a green background is a white buffalo. Behind and to the left, a tall green sequoia tree towers over smaller trees. To their right is a lake. Behind, is a brown snowcapped mountain range. In the upper right, white text on the brown background reads: “National Park Service.”
The entries for the 1960s and 1970s are grouped above a faded contemporary color photo. The photo appears to have a slightly worn section of the Appalachian trail on a slope covered in large black rocks leading towards a forested hillside. The view extends far into the distance with other forested mountains beneath a partly cloudy sky.
The entries for the 1960s and 1970s read: "1960s: 'Wilderness Act and other federal laws strengthen protection of wild lands, preserve historic sites, and create systems to manage wild rivers and trails like the Appalachian Trail. 1970s: Endangered Species Act requires federal agencies to protect endangered plants and animals. Legislation promotes role of science in park management.”
Photo caption: Allan R. Gerber
A boldly painted totem pole with a large beak is grouped with timeline entries for the 1980s, 1990s, and 2016. The carved totem pole from Sitka National Historical Park is painted black, red, pale blue, and white. The face of a man with thick eyebrows is carved into the base of the cropped photo.
The entries for the 1980s, 1990s and 2016 read: "1980s: Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) protects over 104 million acres of federal lands, including 47 million acres in National Park System. 1990s: NPS approaches new millennium, focusing on resource protection, accessibility, leadership in education and scientific research, professionalism, and partnerships. 2016: National Park Service celebrates centennial and charts course for the second century.”
Photo caption: Patrick Endres and Alaska Photographics
The lower right section of the brochure is titled, “Reaching Beyond Park Boundaries.” It mixes brief text with color photos of people engaged in activities outdoors, including gathering around a park ranger, examining the edge of a body of water, in kayaks on a shore, riding horses, and traversing a sand dune in a specialized wheelchair with large wheels. The text and image groupings appear in three columns and are presented under their own titles.
Following the heading, “Get Connected," the entry reads, "Parks tell America’s story and connect us to our history, our environment, ourselves, and each other. Like a thread in a giant tapestry, each of our individual stories contributes to the American narrative.”
Below the text is a horizontal photo of a large group of women with light brown skin wearing the same clothing and hairstyle, possibly dancing or sitting, with their mouths open in similar shapes, as if they are voicing the same thing. Their dresses are bright white with a red floral accent near the waistline. They wear beaded red necklaces, and spiky flower hair ornaments. The caption notes that these women are at the National Park of American Samoa celebrating the anniversary of the US territory.
The section titled “Expand Your Horizons” is grouped with a larger photo of a male park ranger in uniform sharing a rounded natural material in his hand with a group of middle-school aged students. Tall trees with a sparse canopy are in the background. The photo is partially obscured with a transparent white film. The caption notes that this is a ranger and students at Everglades National Park. The accompanying text reads, “The NPS is a valued leader in formal and informal education. You’re never too young or too old to learn something new. National Parks are the ideal extensions of traditional classrooms, offering active, inclusive, transformative experiences.”
The section titled “Planet Health” accompanies a rectangular photo of children and an adult leaning over a grassy edge by still water to examine something close to the ground. The children are wearing bright clothing and ball caps. The photo is significantly obscured by a transparent white film. The caption notes these are “volunteer 'citizen scientists' at Gates of the Arctic National Park.” The text reads: “National parks are critical to protecting Earth. Many parks protect endangered species or vestiges of intact ecosystems. As such, they are valuable research laboratories. The NPS works with the worldwide scientific and conservation community to study air and water quality, climate changes, migratory species, and other issues.”
The “Yours, Mine, and Ours” section begins below a horizontal photo of a mounted color guard in costume representing the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Three young riders in red, white, and blue costumes and black brimmed hats with red sashes sit on top of bridled horses. The closest horse is brown with a black mane. The middle horse is dark grey, and the far horse is light grey. They are each holding a flag, from left to right: the American flag, a white flag with the NPS insignia, and another white flag with the partially obscured name and logo for the park.
The text for this entry reads, “National parks reveal a comprehensive national identity. Parks interpret and commemorate pivotal movements and moments in the nation’s diverse cultural history. This offers everyone a more complete understanding of our past and present, and guides us toward an inclusive future.”
Above the heading, “Places of Healing," is a horizontal color photo of four brightly colored kayaks. The two on the left are red and yellow with two middle-school aged children with dark skin, wearing red life jackets. A third turquoise kayak is empty. Another child with dark skin wearing a red life jacket in the fourth kayak colored bright blue, holds a paddle above their head with both arms. At the helms of the kayaks, an adult with pale skin walks on sand at the edge of a wide body of water. The photo colors are muted by a white film.
The caption reads, “Kayakers at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.” The text reads, “Parks promote mental, physical, and spiritual health. Outdoor places help restore us physically, emotionally, creatively, and spiritually. By linking people to nature and to one another, parks inspire healthier choices and help build more vibrant communities.”
The last grouping in this section, located on the bottom right is titled, “Get Inspired.” It is grouped with a square photo of a man and woman with pale skin and short gray hair wearing khaki pants and blue long-sleeved shirts. In front of the backdrop of brown sandy dunes and distant mountains, the man pushes the woman, who is seated in a wheelchair with large, round gray wheels, resembling inner tubes.
The photo is partially obscured by a white film. The caption reads, “Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.” The text reads, "National Parks enliven the human spirit. In the late 1800s, America’s spectacular wild places inspired a movement to preserve these treasures for future generations. We are that future. Along with the gift of the national parks comes the responsibility to preserve them for those who follow.”
A green border lines the bottom of the brochure. Silhouettes of famous buildings and animals protrude upward into the timeline right side of the brochure. Numerical facts about national parks add up to 100 years beneath the silhouettes.
From left to right, the silhouettes are: sequoia tree, elk, Joshua tree, train, dinosaur, Spanish-style building with bells, bison, St. Louis Arch, bird, person wearing a hat playing a saxophone, cannon, Statue of Liberty, turtle, and lighthouse.
The equation consisting of facts about the National Park Service is: “Over 400 national park system areas + 84 million acres + 18,000 miles of trails + 10,000 miles of park roads + 27,000 historic structures + 75,000 archeological sites + 167 million museum objects + 660,000 junior rangers + 247 threatened or endangered species + 879 visitor centers + 246,000 volunteers-in-parks + 300 million visitors = 100 years and beyond.”
Contact and credit information appear at the bottom right corner, beneath the final grouping titled “Get Inspired."