The 2016 National Park Service Centennial celebrations are over and the numbers of in: Nearly half a million people visited Long Island’s National Parks last year.

Fire Island National Seashore drew 431,303 people and 65,500 more headed to the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay — the home of the 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt.

Fire Island National Seashore includes administrative and visitor facilities on Fire Island, at the William Floyd Estate in Mastic Beach, and in Patchogue Village.

“People come to experience this region’s rich history and breathtaking shorelines,” said the FINS superintendent, Chris Soller, “and there’s no better place than Long Island’s national parks to do so.”

Other special programs included Fire Island’s Find Your Park Art Exhibit and beach hiking challenge, and Sagamore Hill’s Centennial Summer Sunday Programs.

”It has been wonderful to share with the public the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service at the home of the president who started the legacy of setting aside national monuments and conservation lands for public benefit in this country,” said the acting superintendent of Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Eric Breitkreutz.

And the Every Kid in a Park initiative will continue through 2017. The program offers fourth graders and their families free entry to the Fire Island Lighthouse tower and to the Theodore Roosevelt’s home. 

Fourth graders can download their free park passes at

Photo: St. Joseph’s College biology students and alumni during a scientific exploration of Watch Hill during a joint Centennial day on Fire Island last year. (Credit: GreaterPatchogue file photo)