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Contact: Visitor Center, 435-425-3791
Capitol Reef National Park's Ripple Rock Nature provides local community youth, along with the general public, an exceptional opportunity to experience and learn about the park's natural and cultural history through daily hands-on programs, Junior Ranger activities, and interactive displays. The nature center helps to educate youth and enhance their understanding of American Indian culture, pioneer history, geology, paleontology, astronomy, wildlife, and much more. The goal of the nature center is not to simply teach park visitors about the many wonders within the park, but to foster curiosity through playful activities. Ripple Rock Nature Center programs and displays target family groups, but there is something fun for everyone to enjoy.
The success of Ripple Rock Nature Center hinges on partnerships. All partners strive towards the National Park Service mission, "The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations". The National Park Service provides the facility, which also acts as the park's Junior Ranger Station. Park Rangers train interns that work there.
Utah Valley University interns present daily programs at the nature center at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Great Basin Institute and Student Conversation Association interns also staff the facility and give presentations.
The Capitol Reef Natural History Association, the park's non-profit partner, helps with staffing and this summer they opened a unique gift shop featuring youth-orientated sales items that enable families to continue engaged learning beyond their park visit. One exciting sales item is an affordable table-top telescope that brings the exploration of the planets into focus.
Ripple Rock Nature Center has become a destination within Capitol Reef National Park, through these partnerships. This educational and recreation experience in itself is well worth the drive and serves the minds and bodies of both youth and those young at heart. The nature center, located 0.9 miles (1.4 km) south of the visitor center on the Scenic Drive, is open 9:00 am-5:00 pm daily Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call the Visitor Center at 435-425-3791 for more information.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.