TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, spoke to employees Tuesday morning at the Natchez Trace Parkway headquarters in Tupelo.
Jarvis covered a number of issues, from employee morale to the budget to the responsibility of America's national parks.
Jarvis said, "I think one of the key responsibilities of the National Park Service is to tell the American story with all of its challenges. Whether it's our relationship with Native
American people, to the development of the south from the Civil War, to contemporary times."
Jarvis also shared his vision moving forward for America's national parks.
He says as the park service nears its 100th anniversary in 2016, it needs to do a better job of focusing on the next generation of park visitors.
Jarvis said, "To get young people about the stories here. To help us tell these stories. To come and find out that these places are alive and fun and full of adventure and great things to share with each other."
Local Natchez Trace Parkway officials say they've done a better job in recent years to include that educational component.
Terry Wildy with the Natchez Trace Parkway said, "That's something the Parkway has really latched on to. Last fiscal year we presented programs to over ten thousand children. That's up from mere hundreds in years prior to that."
Tupelo and the Trace headquarters is not the only stop for the director while he's in north Mississippi.
Jarvis also visited a historic site along the Parkway in Chickasaw County before a speaking engagement at Mississippi State University.
The director says in the next few years he hopes to create an endowment for the organization to help ease some of the budget restraints the National Park Service faces annually.