PROVIDENCE, RI – In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park
Service (NPS), U.S. Senator Jack Reed today joined members of the NPS’s Junior
Ranger program in presenting the NPS with a birthday cake at Roger Williams National
Memorial in Providence. Senator Reed was accompanied by several children who were
participating in the Junior Ranger program to celebrate the 100th birthday of NPS,
whose mission is to preserve America’s parks and historic sites around the country.
National Park Rangers provided the attendees with brochures and additional
information about the nation’s national parks, and also presented nature-related
awards and centennial celebration items.
«America’s national parks are among our most sacred resources, and as we look back
and celebrate the first hundred years, we must plan for the future and preserve
these special places for future generations to enjoy,» said Senator Reed, a member
of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the National Park Service.
The national park system includes 413 areas preserving more than 84 million acres.
These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks,
historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic
rivers and trails, and the White House.
Rhode Island is home to three units of the National Park Service: Roger Williams
National Memorial in Providence; Touro Synagogue in Newport; and the John Chafee
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park encompassing areas of the
Blackstone River and Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket, the birthplace of the American
Industrial Revolution. Rhode Island is also home to significant sites in nearby
mill towns, including Slatersville (in North Smithfield) and Ashton (in Cumberland)
in Rhode Island and Whitinsville and Hopedale in Massachusetts. The National Park
Service is taking a collaborative approach with local citizens, communities, and
organizations as they work together to convert several geographically dispersed
sites into one operational national historic park.
Senator Reed wrote the 2015 law which established the Blackstone River Valley
National Historical Park and included $927,000 in federal funding to help advance
the park in this year in the Omnibus Appropriations bill.
«Each of Rhode Island’s national park units is a national treasure, steeped not only
in history, but in our ideals. As Americans, we have a shared history, and as
citizens we share a desire to preserve these special places. I will continue
working to preserve Rhode Island’s unique history, while also creating new
opportunities for conservation, historic preservation, tourism, education, and
recreation,» concluded Reed.
Last year, nearly 293 million people visited national parks nationwide and spent
$15.7 billion in local communities, which, according to the National Park Service,
supported 277,000 jobs and had a $29.7 billion effect on the economy.