Junior Ranger Day
Contact: Julie Galonska, 715-483-2270
Contact: Jean Van Tatenhove, 320-629-2148
New Junior Ranger Program Available at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
A new program that invites children and their families to explore, learn, and protect national parks is now available about the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Children, ages 8 – 12, complete activities about the Riverway and earn a Junior Ranger badge. Special events to highlight the new program will take place on National Junior Ranger Day, Saturday, April 26, 2008, at the St. Croix River Visitor Center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and at the Namekagon River Visitor Center in Trego, Wisconsin.
The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway received a grant from the National Park Foundation to host Junior Ranger Ambassador Elise Johnson last summer to develop a Junior Ranger Activity Booklet. The booklet features 17 activities about diverse topics such as eagles, wolves, logging history, and scenery on the Riverway. Once children complete 10 of the activities and come to one of the Riverway visitor centers to show a park ranger how they put on a life jacket, rangers will present them with a certificate, a junior ranger badge, and other materials.
While the Junior Ranger program is available for children every day, special events are planned for National Junior Ranger Day. The St. Croix River Visitor Center will host the University of Minnesota Raptor Center on April 26. A live bald eagle, a barred owl, and other birds of prey will be on display from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jackie Fallon from the Raptor Center will answer questions about the birds. Visitors can look through a spotting scope for bird activity on the St. Croix River. Park rangers will assist children with Junior Ranger activities. The new Riverway movie: “The St. Croix: A Northwoods Journey,” will be shown throughout the day. Formal Junior Ranger award ceremonies will take place at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., however, Junior Ranger candidates can receive their award at any time. The St. Croix River Visitor Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Children can make a plaster wolf track, see a wolf pelt, and listen to howls at the Namekagon River Visitor Center. Park rangers will assist children with Junior Ranger activities and the new Riverway movie will be shown at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Formal Junior Ranger award ceremonies will take place at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The Namekagon River Visitor Center will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on April 26.
The Junior Ranger Activity Booklet is posted on the Riverway website and can be downloaded at: www.nps.gov/sacn/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm. A printed copy of the booklet will be available at the Riverway visitor centers and the Marshland Center. Please call to ensure that someone is able to distribute a copy to you.
St. Croix River Visitor Center, 401 North Hamilton Street, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
Namekagon River Visitor Center, on Highway 63, a half mile east of Highway 53, Trego, Wisconsin. (715) 635-8346
Marshland Center, 15975 State Highway 70, Pine City, Minnesota. (320) 629-2148
Did You Know?
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is home to 40 species of native mussels. Throughout the United States their populations are considered highly threatened. The Higgins Eye Pearly mussel is on the endangered species list.