National Park Service's 100th Anniversary: Washington DC

Celebrate the Achievements of America's Most Treasured National Landmarks

Photo © Image Source/Getty Images

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2016. More than 400 national parks across the country will host a variety of events throughout the year to recognize this important milestone. As Washington DC’s most iconic landmarks are administered by the National Park Service, the nation’s capital will host centennial celebrations you won’t want to miss. The 100th anniversary officially falls on August 25, 2016, however special events will be held throughout the year.

National Park Service and the National Mall

The National Park Service preserves and protects the monumental civic spaces and commemorative works in the center of Washington DC. The National Mall serves as a public park and open space for recreation, civic and cultural events, and public enjoyment. Key sites include the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Read more about the National Mall.

Washington DC 100th Anniversary Events and Exhibits

Through October 2, 2016 - Flora of the National Parks - U.S. Botanic Garden, National Mall, Washington DC. A new exhibit of artworks is on display showcasing plant species that are found throughout the more than 400 national parks. Rare and familiar plants from Florida to Alaska and from Maine to Hawaii will represent national parks such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Homestead National Monument of America, and Acadia National Park.

April 17, 2016 - Anacostia River Festival, Anacostia Park, SE Washington DC. The festival concludes the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a wide variety of activities including outdoor recreation, musical performances, a photography exhibition, a bike parade and more. This year’s festival celebrates “connecting people to parks” in recognition of the National Park Service centennial.

May 20-21, 2016, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - National Parks BioBlitz. A two-day Biodiversity Festival will be held on the National Mall at Constitution Gardens. The family-friendly festival will feature hands-on science exhibits, entertainment, art and food. Constitution Gardens will also serve as base camp for the BioBlitz and a virtual connection to more than one hundred biodiversity events taking place at national parks across the country. The festival will include a special evening of science fun planned for Friday night.

Tuesdays, July 5-August 2, 2016. Georgetown Free Outdoor Movies.  Free and open to the public, the five-week series will honor the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary by featuring iconic movies filmed in and around national parks and monuments across the country, making a stop in each decade from the 1960s to the 2000s.

 August 4, 2016-August 2017. 100 Years of America’s National Park Service: Preserve, Enjoy, Inspire - National Museum of Natural History. The exhibition includes more than 60 images from 53 national parks across the country, including national monuments, historic sites, battlefields, lakeshores, seashores, and others. The images were captured by 18 award-winning photographers, including Stan Jorstad and Carol M. Highsmith.  

More events will be announced at a later date. Please check back for updates.

Find Your Park Campaign

The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation (the organization’s charitable partner) have launched a public engagement and education campaign, Find Your, celebrating the achievements of the past 100 years and kicking off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks, and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.

About the National Park Service

The National Park Service is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior that has cared for America's national parks since 1916. With the help of volunteers and park partners, the organization preserves the local history and heritage of more than 400 natural and cultural places across the United States. For more information, visit

About the National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at

100th Anniversary Website:

Was this page helpful?