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Cotton Honors National Park Week on the Senate Floor

April 21, 2016

This week, I encourage Arkansans and all Americans to take a moment and enjoy your local national parks as we celebrate National Park Week 2016. This year, National Park Week is particularly important because it also happens to be the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service-a milestone that we will celebrate all year long. For those of you who don't know, our National Park System began in 1872 with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park. The organization charged with managing these parks, the National Park Service, was established four decades later in 1916. Today we have over 400 National Parks and historic sites around the country, all full of wildlife, beautiful landscapes, and rich culture. These sites are all cared for by over 20,000 dedicated employees of the National Park Service including Park Rangers, who patrol our parks and keep visitors safe.

Arkansas is home to several National Parks and national historic sites-some of the prettiest and most interesting in the country, in my opinion. For those of you who haven't been to Arkansas, I encourage you to visit Hot Springs National Park to see our natural springs and thermal pools. If you're a history buff, you can also visit Arkansas Post, the site of the only Revolutionary War activity in the state of Arkansas. If you are into the outdoors you can float the Buffalo River. The list goes on. Each of the National Parks and historic sites in Arkansas and around the country has its own unique appeal and holds its own adventure.

So happy National Park week and happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free admission to all National Parks in Arkansas and across the country through this Sunday, April 24th. Have a little fun, learn a little bit about our great country, and show your support and thanks for the men and women who serve us in the National Parks.