DIAMOND, Mo. — The National Park Service is celebrating a big milestone.
Sunday marked the National Park Service’s Founders Day.
The National Park Service was established back in 1916 from the Organic Act.
At that time, the United States only had about 35 national parks, and since then that number has grown to more than 400, with the George Washington Carver National Monument being the first park to be dedicated to an African-American man.
Park guides say it’s important to maintain sites like this one and the many others in the United States to remember those who helped shape America.
Valerie Baldwin of George Washington Carver Monument says, “Each of them tells a part of the American story. And it’s kind of cool because it’s a way to not only celebrate how we’ve protected these places and observed these places, but just how wonderful they are and how great they’ve been and how much of a part of us they have become.”
This year’s celebration marks 103 years for the National Park Service.
George Washington Carver National Monument held their fourth annual Storytelling Days as well this weekend.
The event focused on sharing the powerful stories of highly recognized American icons.
There were presentations on Paul Laurence Dunbar, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Cesar Chavez.
Presenters and park staff say the community is always willing to come out and learn about the past.
Jim Heaney, Superintendent of George Washington Carver National Monument says, “It’s very heartening. I’ve worked in several national parks and this one definitely has the strongest community spirit.”
Fred Blanco, actor and storyteller, says, “There is a rich tradition in storytelling. And I’m learning a rich tradition with storytelling with the National Parks Service. I didn’t know that. So it’s a rich part of our history. So to be a part of that is really exciting.”
On September 14, the George Washington Carver National Monument will be hosting their Prairie Day.
The event will depict life for George Washington Carver in Missouri in the 1800’s.