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Celebrating 101 Years of the National Park Service: Visit the NPS in NYC Parks

This year, the National Park Service turns 101 on August 25!

Many of New York City’s national parks and monuments can be found on or near City parkland. Although none of these sites are under our jurisdiction, we are proud to partner with NPS and to support their mission of caring for America’s most special places and engaging communities.

To learn more about national parks in New York City, visit the NPS' National Parks of New York Harbor  website. 

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

(Photo credit: Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

Jamaica Bay is an expansive haven of bird islands and waterways that attract many wildlife to our surrounding parklands at Marine Park, Spring Creek Park, Canarsie Park, and the Rockaway peninsula, which all enclose the bay. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at the Gateway National Recreation Area is the only wildlife refuge in the National Park Service system; it boasts having more than 300 species of birds and one of the largest populations of horseshoe crabs in the Northeast. Learn more about Gateway National Recreation Area

Hamilton Grange National Memorial at St. Nicholas Park

 (Photo credit: National Park Service)

When founding father Alexander Hamilton retired, he settled down in modern day Harlem in a Federal-style country home called The Grange, the only home Hamilton ever owned. In 2006, St. Nicholas Park became The Grange's beautiful backyard when the house was moved a few blocks north and into the park at 141st Street near Hamilton Terrace. Today, Hamilton Grange National Memorial is operated by the National Park Service, and is dedicated to telling the story of Hamilton and his home. Learn more about the Hamilton Grange National Memorial

General Grant's National Memorial at Riverside Park

 (Photo credit: Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

Riverside Park is home to many monuments that honor our heroes, from Eleanor Roosevelt and Joan of Arc to the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. The General Grant National Memorial is perhaps the park's most well-known historic tribute. It is the largest mausoleum in North America and the final resting place of President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia. On President's Grant's birthday, the National Park Service and members of the United States Military Academy gather at the memorial to honor President's Grant's life and legacy. Learn more about the General Grant National Memorial

Castle Clinton National Monument at The Battery

 (Photo credit: Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

The Battery is the birthplace of New York City and is home to many monuments and symbols of our past. Perhaps the most imposing of all its historic features is Castle Clinton National Monument. This structure was originally one of the four forts built to defend New York during the War of 1812, although it never saw action in battle. Castle Clinton then saw many uses, including a restaurant and theater, a center for processing immigrants, and the home of the original New York City Aquarium.

After the Aquarium left in 1941, the castle was in danger of being demolished, before being saved by the National Park Service. It was re-opened in 1975 as Castle Clinton National Monument, and stands today as a symbol of our past and a connection to our future. Learn more about Castle Clinton

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island

Although Lady Liberty is not found on New York City parkland, the official authorized ticket office can be found in The Battery at Castle Clinton. From The Battery, millions of New Yorkers and tourists alike take the ferry to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island each year to visit these beacons of immigration and freedom. Learn more about the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island 

Stonewall National Monument

 Our Citywide Monuments Conservation team spiffed up the Gay Liberation Monument for Pride NYC 2016. (Photo credit: Adrian Sas/NYC Parks)

On the occasion of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the nation’s newest national monument can be found right here in New York City. The site was once known as Christopher Park, a Greenwich Village triangle and local park that had long been a respite for artists and creative people. On June 27, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay establishment, next door, kicking off days of protests and riots against this action. As a result, this park became a national symbol for the burgeoning gay rights movement. After years of local and national efforts, President Barack Obama designated this park, the Stonewall Inn, and the surrounding streets as America’s 412th national park, and the first national monument dedicated to LGBT rights. Learn more about the Stonewall National Monument

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