We each have three types of shoes. Our family, for the most part, wears casual shoes ranging from sandals to sneakers to loafers, suitable for the vast majority of our daily activities. We have dress shoes for those more formal occasions were we are dressed to impress and red carpet ready. Admittedly, our faves by far are our hiking/biking/trekking/exploring shoes. As we travel, these shoes are almost always accompanied by their own personal tote bags to contain the remnants of the day's escapades. Here are three adventurous ways for families to join in the celebration of national parks during National Parks Week (April 16-24, 2017) and every day. Where will you find your park?
Where Will You Find Your Park?
Such a wide variety of wonderful moments for all to enjoy can be found nationally in each of our national parks. Create your own adventure of choose one of these three exciting ways for family and friends to join in the celebration of national parks. Where will you find your park?
National Junior Ranger Day (4/15) - Designed to help children and families connect with national parks in educational and fun ways. There are over 120 national park sites allowing children ages 5-13 participate in the Junior Ranger program by completing a series of activities during their park visit, share their answers with a Park Ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate.
Volunteer with the whole family - The National Park Service protects over 80 million acres of US soil– National Park Week is the perfect time to say thank you and teach your children the importance of giving back.
Visit a lesser known national park- Beyond sites like Yellowstone and Yosemite, there are 415-plus national parks across the country. Check out The Places Nobody Knows Guide to spark some travel ideas- National Park Week is the perfect time to do this since all entrance fees will be waived.
The National Park Foundation– the official charity of the National Park Service also creates programs dedicated to encouraging children to #FindYourPark, see below for examples-
· Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (LA) has a Citizen Science Program that will bring kids to the park this spring - the program will engage youth and families in the community on the Louisiana wetlands, collecting real data and connecting it to their school curriculum.
· War in the Pacific National Historical Park (Guam) is offering a Discovery project for at-risk youth to engage them in trail and habitat improvement activities that protect the park’s resources and connect them to their heritage.