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Celebrating National Treasures

100 Years of the National Park ­Service, 10 for John Smith Trail

photo by Mid-Atlantic Aerial Photography for the Chesapeake Conservancy.

America’s first national park, Yellowstone, was preserved in 1872. So many followed that in 1916 the National Park Service was created to manage the then 35 national parks. This year is the centennial of the Park Service.
    2016 is also the 10th anniversary of Chesapeake Country’s own entry in that noble list, the John Smith Chesapeake Trail. The 3,000-mile trail connects us with places evoking the Chesapeake of 400 years ago: American Indian communities and culture and Smith’s 1607 to 1609 voyages of exploration and of the Bay and its rivers.
    “As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th Anniversary, I’d like to remind people in this region that they have a National Park in our collective backyard,” says Joel Dunn, president and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy. “The John Smith Chesapeake Trail, comprising much of the Chesapeake, is as beautiful and precious to our nation as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Yosemite.”
    To celebrate the double anniversary, members of the Chesapeake Paddlers Association and the Chesapeake Conservancy created this formation at Sandy Point State Park near the Bay Bridge.