Mammoth Cave National Park celebrates 78th birthday

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. – Every birthday is worth celebrating.

Just ask Mammoth Cave National Park, which today held a party in honor of the park’s 78th birthday.

“It’s important to celebrate all that we’ve done throughout the years and all of the future we have ahead of us,” said Molly Schroer, public information officer at Mammoth Cave National Park.

For five hours, the park had several free activities set-up for visitors of all ages to participate in.

Water-color painting, 1941-era trivia and a candle-blowing competition were some of the most popular options.

There was also a time capsule that will be buried and dug up on the park’s 100th birthday.

And of course there was cake.

“We were just kind of looking at a away to celebrate our birthday,” said Schroer. “Birthdays are fun anyway. We knew we’d have a lot of guests and a lot of visitors in. It’s just kind of some fun activities we have for the people traveling through.”

A 78th birthday might not seem like a significant birthday to many, but rangers at the park would disagree.

Today is a representation of the importance and recognition of all the hard work that has gone into preserving the natural beauty of the park.

“It’s a difficult task we have,” added Schroer. “We’re trying to preserve the park, keep it as it is while welcoming over half a million visitors a year. So it is a delicate balance.”

It’s a balance that needs to be maintained if future generations are to enjoy the park as well.

“Our hope is that people are going to be able to bring their kids or grandkids back here and get to share the same experience they had whenever they were little and enjoy all that we have here at Mammoth Cave,” Schroer said.

Since Mammoth Cave was first designated as a national park in 1941, a lot has changed.

“When the park was established we only knew of 44 miles of cave of Mammoth Cave,” said Schroer. “We’re now mapped at 412 miles and we’re still finding more.”

More caves, more karsts and more ways to continue to improve upon the experience at the park for every visitor that stops by.

“There have been a lot of changes,” Schroer said. “We’re seeing a lot of improvements. We’re looking forward to improvements in the future to keep up will all the visitation that we have.”

Visitors also got to sign a giant card to celebrate the park’s 78th birthday.