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398 and Counting: Sites in 6 States May be Added to the National Park System

The National Park system added its 398th unit earlier this month when César E. Chávez National Monument was dedicated on Oct. 8.

Where would you like to see the National Park Service add new properties? USA Today reports that sites in 6 states are candidates to join the system:

Nevada: Tule Springs Fossil Beds north of Las Vegas, which is aiming for national monument status. The site holds thousands of fossils of Ice Age mammoths, bison, American lions and sloths.


Maryland: A possible national historic site or national monument that recognizes Underground Railroad "conductor" Harriet Tubman.

Delaware: Officials are hoping to complete a decade-long effort to bring Delaware its first national park unit (it’s the only state without one), First State National Historical Park.

New Mexico: Valles Caldera National Preserve, an 89,000-acre parcel in the Jemez Mountain Range that, despite its name, is not part of the NPS system.

Ohio: Xenia, Ohio, homesite of Col. Charles Young, the first African-American superintendent of a national park (Sequoia National Park).

Illinois: Chicago's Pullman District, a neighborhood that played a role in the African-American labor movement.

Such discussion serves up a lesser-known point of interest regarding the National Park Service: The NPS administers more than national parks, of which 58 exist.

The other units, displayed in the chart below, include seashores, battlefields, parkways, even The White House. Trivia fans, take note:

NPS Designation  Units    Example
National Historic Sites    78    Tuskegee Airmen, Alabama
National Monuments    76    Statue of Liberty, New York-New Jersey
National Parks    58    Grand Canyon, Arizona
National Historical Parks    46    Chaco Culture, New Mexico
National Memorials    29    Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
National Preserves    18    Tallgrass Prairie, Kansas
National Recreation Areas    18    Santa Monica Mountains, California
National Battlefields    11    Antietam, Maryland
Miscellaneous designations    11    White House, District of Columbia
National Seashores    10    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
National Wild and Scenic Rivers    10    Saint Croix, Minnesota-Wisconsin
National Military Parks     9    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
National Rivers     5    Buffalo National River, Arkansas  
National Parkways     4    Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina  
National Lakeshores     4    Pictured Rocks, Michigan  
National Battlefield Parks     4    Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia  
National Scenic Trails     3    Appalachian Trail, Maine to Georgia  
National Reserves     2    City of Rocks, Idaho  
National Battlefield Site     1    Brices Cross Roads, Mississippi  
International Historic Site     1    Saint Croix Island, Maine  

 Source: National Park Service. Click to see a PDF listing all 398 units.


The scene above is from Sequoia National Park, where Col. Charles Young served as the National Park Service's first African-American superintendent. His Xenia, Ohio, homesite is a candidate to be added to the National Park system. (NPS photo.)

Image below (and thumbnail photo) is of Valles Caldera, N.M. Photo by Don J. Usner, courtesy of Valles Caldera Trust.


Posted on at 11:30 AM

Tagged: National Park Service, national historic sites, national monuments and national parks

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