Grand Canyon to Celebrate National Junior Ranger Day as Part of National Park Week
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, AZ. –On Saturday, April 25, 2009, Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate National Junior Ranger Day with kid-friendly activities and programs for the entire family.
National Junior Ranger Day celebrates Junior Rangers past and present. Junior Rangers are people who are young or young at heart who have fulfilled the requirements to earn a Junior Ranger badge or patch in at least one of the almost 300 National Park units across the nation that have a Junior Ranger program. The motto of the program is, “explore, learn, protect: be a Junior Ranger.”
The National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program began in the 1960s and was adopted to help kids and their families explore and learn about their national parks, cultivating future generations of park stewards. Today, hundreds of thousands of Junior Rangers are sworn in each year, and there is even a WebRanger program for those who are unable to visit a national park.
This is the third year that National Junior Ranger Day is being celebrated nationwide as a part of National Park Week. At Grand Canyon National Park, special programs oriented towards children ages 6 to 14 will be offered at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m in addition to the regularly-scheduled family-friendly programs available throughout the day. From 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Canyon View Information Plaza, park rangers will also be hosting a “show and tell” of equipment and gear used in various aspects of their jobs. There will be a fire engine, search and rescue equipment, and various types of patrol vehicles just to name a few. The day will end with a family-friendly evening program at the Shrine of the Ages at 7:30 p.m. preceded by a 30 minute family sing-along.
As with any Junior Ranger program, participating in the day’s activities will not only allow children and their families to explore and learn about how National Park Rangers protect parks and their resources, it will also provide them with the opportunity to earn a special commemorative certificate; and if they participate in two or more of the day’s activities, they can earn a National Junior Ranger Day patch to add to their collection.
To learn more about Grand Canyon’s celebration of National Junior Ranger Day, call the Grand Canyon National Park Environmental Education Branch at 928-638-7941. To learn more about becoming a Junior Ranger, or about the National Park Service’s WebRanger program, please visit the RangerZONE at http://www.nps.gov/learn/juniorranger.htm.