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Natural Bridges Celebrates Its Centennial

Natural Bridges National Monument

National Park News

Natural Bridges National Monument commemorated its 100th birthday at the park’s visitor center on Wednesday, April 16th. Southeast Utah Group superintendent Kate Cannon presided over the ceremony. A re-enactor portraying Theodore Roosevelt, the president who signed the proclamation creating the park, made an appearance and gave a speech that reminisced about a time of giants in our American and conservation history.

The event was made most special by the attendance of about 20 descendants of the first custodian-ranger of Natural Bridges, Zeke Johnson, a local legend in Southeast Utah, who served at the monument from 1921 to 1941. Coincidentally, the anniversary of Johnson’s birthday is also April 16th. After Roosevelt’s speech, the Johnson family descendants took the floor to share memories of their grandfather/great-grandfather.

The park will be celebrating its centennial throughout the year. The celebration will culminate with a number of activities over Labor Day weekend, which will include a plain air art competition, a star party hosted by the Salt Lake Astronomy Society, a special postal cancellation stamp, and special tours of prehistoric ruins that are not usually available to the public.

Natural Bridges was the first national park unit created in Utah.  The theme of its year-long celebration is “100 Years of National Parks in Utah.”

For more information, please call the Natural Bridges Visitor Center, 435-692-1234, or visit the park website at


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