By Guest Blogger Jeremy Buzzell, Chief of the National Accessibility Branch, National Park Service
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service – a defining moment that offers an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our accomplishments as we prepare for a new century of stewardship and engagement.
America has changed dramatically since the birth of the National Park Service in 1916. The roots of the National Park Service lie in the parks’ majestic, often isolated natural wonders and in places that exemplify our cultural heritage, but our reach now extends to places difficult to imagine 100 years ago – into urban centers, across rural landscapes, deep within oceans, and across night skies.
In our second century, the National Park Service must recommit to exemplary stewardship and public enjoyment of these places. This includes renewing our efforts to ensure that visitors with disabilities have equal opportunity to benefit from all that our parks have to offer. That’s why the National Park Service released a five-year strategic plan for improving accessibility in August of 2014.