National Park Service creates ‘living emblem’ in Washington

More than 1,000 kids and adults used brown, green and white umbrellas to form a living version of the National Park Service emblem on the National Mall in Washington as part of a nationwide celebration of the service’s 100th birthday.

The centennial comes as the agency that manages national parks, as well as historic places, welcomes a new national monument.

The emblem contains elements symbolizing the major facets of the national park system. A sequoia tree and bison represent vegetation and wildlife, mountains and water represent scenery and recreation, and the arrowhead shape represents history and archaeology. The first 1,000 participants were allowed to keep their umbrellas and got T-shirts commemorating the event.

Young girls and other people holding green umbrellas (© AP Images)
Fourth-graders from a Washington elementary school were among the crowd creating the park service’s arrowhead emblem. (© AP Images)

The park service’s newest national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, was being readied to welcome its first visitors since President Obama used his executive authority to create it. Donated by Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, the expanse features views of Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine.

The national park system has been called “America’s best idea” because of its preservation of natural beauty as well as its openness to all. The National Park Service manages the country’s 59 national parks and 84 national monuments.

Another way to see the parks is through vintage posters.

Banner reading "Find your park" (National Park Service)

(National Park Service)