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Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Contact: Graciela Avila, 928-638-7941
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - We dare you to try to keep up with the Junior Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park! It's fun and healthy to play in the parks and now National Park Junior Rangers get an extra reward for movin'it outside.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of 20 national parks kicking off Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger. Let’s Move Outside, led by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, provides tools and information to parents to make it easy to enjoy the outdoors and be active and healthy. It is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s nationwide campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.
“Young people inspire us; we want to help them be healthy and curious for life. It starts with family fun. We want to help parents learn the skills they need to enjoy the outdoors with their kids,” National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said.
Young people who complete at least one physical activity in pursuit of their Junior Ranger badge receive a special sticker that designates them as a Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger. The activities range from adventures like hiking with a ranger to body surfing and canoeing.
“Grand Canyon National Park’s Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger program offers kids and parents the chance to experience the Grand Canyon and enjoy many of the park’s wonders below the rim on the Junior Ranger Adventure Hike. This is not only great exercise, but also an incredibly fun way to see and learn about the park,” Park Superintendent Steve Martin said. “Kids and parents learn safe hiking techniques while hiking with a park ranger and may explore a fossil site and the colorful rocks, create artwork, or learn about plants and animals during a one- to two-mile (2-3 km) round-trip hike. The hike is strenuous; so bring water, good hiking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen and enjoy the outdoors!”
The Junior Ranger Adventure Hike meets daily on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park at 9:00 a.m. at the Hermits Rest bell. The hike is approximately 2 hours on the challenging Hermit Trail and is ideal for families with children ages 9 – 14. To arrive on time for this program, board the free Hermits Rest shuttle bus by 8:00 a.m.
The park also offers other Junior Ranger Programs and programs for kids of all ages on the South and North Rims of Grand Canyon. Visitors should check for program and free shuttle bus information in The Guide, a free park publication offered on-line at http://www.nps.gov/grca, at park visitor contact stations and entrance stations.
By summer’s end, 50 national parks will offer Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger programs.
Young people can become Junior Rangers at more than 200 national parks nationwide.
Before heading out, families can look at www.letsmove.gov for more information about activities and participating parks. This website hub will link families to the great outdoors and give tips and ideas on how to best plan and enjoy an active adventure. The National Park Service provides 84 million acres to explore, so there are many places and ways to move outside!
A Fact Sheet: Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger, can be found on the park’s Web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parknews/newsreleases.htm.
FACT SHEET: Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger
June 14, 2010
Let’s Move Outside
· On June 1, First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move Outside, a component of Let’s Move!, her nationwide campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.
· Regular exercise in nature has been shown to improve children’s health across the board: outdoor activity helps kids maintain a healthy weight, boosts immunity and bone health, and lowers stress.
· Led by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, Let’s Move Outside is a coordinated effort to get kids and families moving in America’s great outdoors.
· Together, the two agencies manage over one-fifthof the nation’s landmass, including nearly 200 million acres of national forests and grasslands, 84 million acres of national parks, and over 60,000 miles of the National Trails System.
· Along with the vast network of state and local parks, these places provide countless opportunities for accessible, affordable, outdoor recreation.
· Let’s Move Outside will give parents the tools they need to get their kids moving outdoors, helping families to become healthier and develop more active lifestyles.
· Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger is the first of a series of Let’s Move Outside programs, events, and activities on public lands and waters across the country.
· Let’s Move Outside programs are currently being developed in the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land management, and Forest Service.
· A Let’s Move Outside website (www.letsmove.gov) will serve as the hub of this movement, link families to outdoor areas near them and providing tips and ideas for how to enjoy them.
Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger
· Today, Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger programs will begin in 20 national parks across the country.
· Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger is a new feature of the National Park Service’s popular Junior Ranger program, which has existed in some form since the 1920s.
· Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger encourages families to become more active by highlighting recreational opportunities in their national parks.
· Operating in more than 200 national parks, Junior Ranger programs engage children of all ages in a range of educational and fun activities that are specific to each park’s unique resources and foster ethics of leadership and stewardship.
· After completing a series of activities, kids are sworn in as Junior Rangers and receive a badge and certificate to mark their accomplishment.
· Young people who complete one or more physical activities as part of their Junior Ranger certification will also be designated Let’s Move Outside Junior Rangers.
· These activities range from ranger guided hikes on the rim of the Grand Canyon, to body surfing at Canaveral National Seashore, to participating in the Yellowstone Junior Ranger Wildlife Olympics.
· The 20 pilot programs announced today are just the beginning. By the end of the summer, Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger will be available in 50 national parks.
· In the past 10 years, nearly 4.5 million children have participated in Junior Ranger programs across the country.
For more information, please contact Ali Kelley at (202) 701-4628 or e-mail us