National Park Week Festivities Planned for April 18-26, 2009

Wildlife reintroductions, traffic, financial issues,

National Park Week Festivities Planned for April 18-26, 2009

Postby Todd » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:32 pm

National Park Week Festivities Planned for April 18-26, 2009
3rd Annual National Junior Ranger Day to be held on April 25

Washington, DC- Scavenger hunts, craft demonstrations, puppet shows, artillery displays, and nature hikes are just some of the hundreds of free special events taking place in national parks during National Park Week. A list of activities for this Presidentially-proclaimed week, celebrated this year from April 18 through 26, is available at .

"Throughout the country, from busy cities to remote wilderness areas, national parks are places of history, recreation, and inspiration," said acting National Park Service Director Dan Wenk. "During National Park Week visitors, especially children, are encouraged to discover their national parks through many extra programs and special events."

More than 225 National Park Service sites will host youth-oriented activities on Saturday, April 25 for the 3rd annual National Junior Ranger Day. "The Junior Ranger program is the National Park Service's signature program for young visitors," said Wenk. "Throughout the year children earn badges and certificates after completing age-appropriate park related activities at their own pace. On Junior Ranger Day many parks will have additional special events and guided programs. Children will also receive commemorative 2009 Junior Ranger Day pins and certificates."

Among the many activities that day, young visitors can learn nautical skills at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, participate in
military drills at Civil War sites, make dinner bells with a blacksmith in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, "Live Like a King" at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, interact with wolves at Petroglyph National Monument, create Native American coup sticks at Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, and learn how to "Leave No Trace" at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

One of the biggest fans of the Junior Ranger program is 13-year-old Barrett Young. Young has earned more than 240 badges and says that completing Junior Ranger exercises makes each park more meaningful.

"Traveling with my family around the country has allowed us the opportunity to visit many national parks," said Young. "I like the Junior Ranger program because the activities and games make learning about parks fun. I think even my parents have discovered things they didn't know about parks while they were helping me with activities."
"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody." Calvin Coolidge
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