On-line Book
cover to Admin History
NPS Expansion: 1930s







New Deal



NPS 1933-39




Expansion of the National Park Service in the 1930s:
Administrative History

Chapter Four: New Initiatives in the Field of Recreation and Recreational Area Development
National Park Service Arrowhead

C. National Park Service Participation on the National Resources Board

The National Park Service became more deeply involved in the field of national recreational planning and development through its participation on the National Resources Board, created by executive order on June 30, 1934.The board was established "to prepare . . . a program and plan of procedure dealing with the physical, social, governmental, and economic aspects of public policy for the development and use of land, water, and other national resources." [12]

The Service was assigned the responsibility of preparing the portion of the report dealing with "National and State Parks and Related Recreational Activities." The objective of the report was to study the recreation facilities and needs of the national, state, and local park systems and to develop a framework for a broad national recreation program To prepare this section of the National Resources Board report, the Recreation Division of the board was established in the National Park Service with George M. Wright, Chief of the Wildlife Division, as its director and Herbert Evison, Supervisor of State Park Emergency Conservation Work, as assistant director. The substance of the Park Service's portion of the report was prepared by a committee consisting of Wright, Evison, Chief Forester Coffman, and Assistant Director Wirth with the aid of L.H. Weir, a recreation specialist associated with the National Recreation Association. [13]

The Recreation Division of the National Resources Board submitted its final report, entitled "Recreational Use of Land in the United States," on November 1, 1934. The limited time allotted for the preparation of the report did not allow for a detailed study of the underlying facts regarding recreation needs and existing facilities throughout the nation. It did document, however, the fact that the total area of all national, state, and local parks, bird and game refuges, and privately-owned recreation areas amounted to some 21,000,000 acres, a total that the Recreation Division suggested should be multiplied four-fold to meet existing demands. The report also showed that most states and their political subdivisions lacked comprehensive plans for park systems and that the interrelationship of parks, parkways, and recreation areas was even less understood. The report documented the need for a broad and exhaustive nationwide survey of park and recreation needs and facilities and one of its primary recommendations was that such a study be undertaken. [14]

Chapter Four continues with...
The Park, Parkway, and Recreational-Area Study Act of 1936


Last Modified: Tues, Mar 14 2000 07:08:48 am PDT

National Park Service's ParkNet Home