Celebrate National Park Service’s 100th birthday with this quiz
They are, as Wallace Stegner famously wrote, “the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”
America’s national parks demonstrate that as a people “we have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune,” said Theodore Roosevelt, who was widely known as the conservation president.
But it was never enough for Congress to simply set the lands aside, designating them as national parks or monuments or battlefields. They needed to be cared for and protected, made a haven for visitors from around the world while preserving irreplaceable heritage and land.
So, exactly 100 years ago today — Aug. 25, 1916 — President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act to establish the National Park Service within the Department of the Interior, whose duty is to “promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
One hundred years along, and the green and gray uniforms of the National Park Service, complete with a Smokey Bear hat, are as iconic as the sites the people wearing the uniforms are charged with overseeing.
In honor of this momentous birthday, see how much you know about the National Park Service and the national treasures it oversees:
1. Which park is the most visited national park, with 10,712,674 recreational visits in 2015?
a. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
b. Grand Canyon National Park
c. Rocky Mountain National Park
2. How many units — including parks, battlefields, lakeshores, monuments, etc. — does the National Park Service oversee?
3. Congress established Yellowstone as the first national park in:
4. Which national park is one of the few places in the world home to four types of volcanoes (shield, plug dome, cinder cone and composite remnants)?
a. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming/Montana
b. Haleakala National Park in Hawaii
c. Lassen Volcanic National Park in California
5. The president has the right to proclaim national monuments on lands within federal jurisdiction under the:
a. America the Beautiful Act of 1872
b. National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978
c. Antiquities Act of 1906
6. Which of the following places is NOT overseen by the National Park Service at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C.?
a. the Zachary Taylor Parkland
b. the George Mason Memorial
c. the Constitution Gardens
7. The Cave Research Foundation has surveyed and mapped more than 400 miles of passages — and continues to explore and re-survey — in which national park?
a. Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
b. Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky
c. Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico
8. Which site is home to a six-mile wide, 2,500-foot deep caldera formed during a massive volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago?
a. Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve in Alaska
b. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin
c. Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho
9. The San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico is where, in 1797:
a. Vasco da Gama discovered the Fountain of Youth.
b. the Spanish Armada defeated Napoleon Bonaparte’s French navy in La Batalla del Diablo.
c. the Puerto Rican Fixed Regiment, Puerto Rican Disciplined Militias and citizens defended San Juan against a British force some 10,000 strong.
10. Everglades National Park in Florida is home to:
a. the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere
b. the West Indian manatee
c. 25 varieties of orchids
11. Which Federal Army general is credited with the Union victory in the pivotal Battle of Pea Ridge, commemorated at the Pea Ridge National Military Park in Arkansas?
a. Ulysses S. Grant
b. George B. McClellan
c. Samuel Ryan Curtis
12. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is in which state?
a. North Carolina
13. How much did Abner Sprague, the first Rocky Mountain National Park visitor to pay an entrance fee (in 1939), pay for admission to the park?
14. Which of the following IS one of the states through which the Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs?
b. South Carolina
c. New Jersey
15. How long did it take Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to fill?
a. 17 years
b. 55 years
c. 5 years
16. What does the inscription on a memorial for Meriwether Lewis, who died near Grinder’s Stand in Tennessee on the Natchez Trace Parkway, read?
a. Immaturus obi; sed tu felicior annos vive meos: Bona Republica! vive tuos (I died before my time, but thou O great and good Republic, live out my years while you live out your own)
b. Here lies Meriwether Lewis — gentleman, explorer and patriot
c. Contra vim mortis non crescit herba in hortis (No herb grows in the gardens against the power of death)
17. About 4,000 acres of National Park of American Samoa are:
a. a winter nesting ground for the Arctic tern
b. home to the South Pacific’s largest breadfruit grove
18. Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico was designated an International Dark Sky Park in part because:
a. more than 99 percent of the park is a “natural darkness zone” in which no permanent outdoor lighting exists
b. it is the only place in the Northern Hemisphere from which the Southern Cross is visible
c. it hosted the International Stargazer Convention from 2003 to 2007.
19. The Waterpocket Fold, in which Capitol Reef National Park is located, is what type of feature?
a. retrograde metamorph
b. geologic monocline
c. stromatolitic structure
20. Who is buried at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana?
a. Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s mother
b. General Ambrose Everett Burnside
c. Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, Abraham Lincoln’s sister
21. What is the most common use for the saguaro flowers the Tohono O’odham people annually harvest in Arizona’s Saguaro National Park?
a. creating bridal garlands for weddings
b. making saguaro syrup, which is used in the annual rain ceremony, and nawait wine
c. marking the calendar stick
22. Which tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest (by volume) in the world?
a. the Running Bear
b. the General Sherman
c. the Sir Lancelot
(Answers on page 13A)