Back to School – in America’s National Parks: National Park Service Helps Teachers Make Learning Fun & Relevant

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Date: September 13, 2013
Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Contact: Rainey McKenna, 360-565-2985

Teachers across the country have a new tool to help them engage their students in classroom and place-based learning.

Yesterday, the National Park Service (NPS) launched a new online service for teachers that brings America's national parks, including Olympic National Park, into neighborhood classrooms. The new "Teachers" section of the National Park Service website at provides a one-stop shop for curriculum-based lesson plans, traveling trunks, maps, activities, distance learning, and other resources.All of the materials draw from the spectacular natural landscapes and authentic places preserved in America's national parks.

"Olympic National Park has enthusiastically welcomed Olympic Peninsula area students to the park for field trips and visited local schools to help students connect the concepts they learn in the classroom with the natural world around them," said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. "Now, through the new "Teachers" National Park Service website, teachers and students will have the opportunity to connect with all 401 national parks across the country."

Over 30 educational resources from Olympic National Park are featured on the site, including Freeing the Elwha, a 23 lesson curriculum series that explores Elwha River Restoration through science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics.

The website is just one part of the National Park Service's ongoing commitment to education. Every year, national parks offer more than 57,000 educational programs in parks for nearly three million students, in addition to the 563,000 interpretive programs attended by 12.6 million visitors.At launch, the website offered more than 700 lesson plans, 140 field trips, 50 traveling trunks, 44 distance learning opportunities, 16 teachers' institutes, 47 online galleries, and 100 teacher workshops, and will add new content as it is developed. The site offers teachers the opportunity to rate the materials provided.

To learn more about the National Park Service's education programs, visit

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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