National Parks Celebrate 85th Anniversary - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

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National Parks Celebrate 85th Anniversary

The folks out at the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs celebrated a milestone on Sunday. For 85 years, the National Park Service has been giving people a place to enjoy nature's beauty.  For many people in 20001 making a trip to a national park is an educational experience.

"I've learned that dolphins are very intelligent," park visitor Ashley Mabry said. "At first I thought they were just like giant tuna to tell you the truth."

Eighty-five years ago control of the parks was taken away from the military, and the national park service was born. Since then, rangers say the parks have come to mean different things for different people.

"They could be a place where families can get together and have a good time," Park Ranger Faye Walmsley said. "They can be geological wonders. They can be to learn a little bit about our history and our culture. That's what's unique about the parks."

Rangers say the nearly 400 properties they manage have had to change with the needs and the diversity of the communities they serve. There are parks that tell the story of African Americans and Native Americans and about tragedies like the Oklahoma City Bombing.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore celebrates it's 30th anniversary this year. Officials say about one million people visit the Mississippi part of the park every year.

by Danielle Thomas

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