March 15, 2007
Maria Beotegui-Zapata, 305-230-1144, x3037
Biscayne and Everglades National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve are pleased to announce the release of a trilingual Junior Ranger program for young visitors. Previously offered only in English, the program is now available in both Spanish and Haitian Creole, and encourages children to explore, learn about, and protect our national treasures, while working to earn the title of “Junior Ranger.” Successful participants will earn a souvenir badge at each park they visit. Those who earn a badge at all three parks are eligible to receive a newly designed Junior Ranger patch in the shape of a water drop.
The in-park program centers around the colorful Junior Ranger activity book, available free of charge from all park visitor centers. While exploring the parks, participants complete a series of activities that focus on a variety of topics, including wildlife, habitats, food chains, and wildfire. Once finished, participants return to the park’s visitor center to meet with park staff and participate in a ceremony where they receive their badge and become a Junior Ranger.
The parks’ Junior Ranger Program was produced in three languages to encourage participation by families from the local community. Developed following national standards adopted by the National Park Service, the program hopes to offer young visitors a quality experience in South Florida’s National Parks.
Funding for the Junior Ranger program was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, a Proud Partner of America’s National Parks and a National Corporate Partner of the Junior Ranger Program. Matching funds for the project were raised by the South Florida National Parks Trust and the Friends of Big Cypress. Currently, Junior Ranger programs are available in over 300 parks nationwide and are made possible through private funding from the National Park Foundation and local partners.