(CNN)President Barack Obama and his family are heading west Friday to visit two of the United States' national parks for Father's Day weekend.
Obama to visit national parks for Father's Day
With the National Park Service turning 100 in August, Obama wants to highlight the agency's preservation measures and make the case for fully funding its efforts.
"I want to make sure that the American people are able to enjoy the incredible national parks, the incredible beauty, the mountains, the oceans that have been one of the greatest gifts that we've ever received," Obama said in a June 9 Facebook video.
"And I want to make sure that the whole world is able to pass on to future generations the God-given beauty of this planet."
The U.S. Interior Department, which oversees the park service, reported Friday that national park sites and other non-park service sites under its authority hosted an estimated 443 million recreational visits last year, a 20 million-visit increase from the year before.
The visits were responsible for $45 billion in spending and supported about 396,000 jobs across the country, according to the report.
The park service has $12 billion in deferred maintenance, which includes paved and unpaved roadways, bridges, tunnels and paved and unpaved parking areas, according to its annual report released in February.
The Obamas' weekend trip includes one of the nation's very first national parks.
A smaller version of Yosemite was first protected in 1864, during the height of the Civil War, and it became the nation's fifth national park in 1890. That was prior to the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916. Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico became a national park in 1930.
When President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916, there were 14 national parks, 21 monuments and two reservations. Rangers recorded 326,000 visits to those sites that year. (As of June 17, there are now 411 sites.)
Under his authority granted by the Antiquities Act of 1906, Obama has protected more than 265 million acres of public lands and waters, more than any other president, the White House said.
They include Castle Mountains National Monument, Sand to Snow National Monument and Mojave Trails National Monument -- all in California --and Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument in Washington, D.C.
He's expected to announce the Stonewall Inn as the first national LGBT rights park site in June, which is traditionally Pride month, an especially poignant time given the shootings at a gay club in Orlando.