98 years ago the National Parks Service was created. The first National Park, Yellowstone, was actually established about 40 years prior to that, in 1872, but like all things government, it took time for any sense of normalcy to be put into place, and in 1916, the NPS was founded. Since 1916, the NPS has grown to encompass 401 units broken up into various different levels of hierarchy, from National Seashore, to National Memorial, to National Park. Some monuments have been upgraded to parks, and some parks have been disbanded. Some are one unit geographically, but treated as two separate entities, such as Denali National Park & Preserve.
Either way, the National Parks service has contributed more to the country, and to the world then you probably realize. Take advantage of this great thing, and go out and visit a park. There’s probably one not to far from where you live.