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Contact: Sue Walter, (520) 387-6849 x7301
Ajo, Arizona –On April 7th, the Duncan Family was all smiles as they earned their 53rd Junior Ranger Badge at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.Michael age 11, Coby age 10, and Tristen age 9 had spent the previous day exploring the newly opened areas of the monument with their Junior Ranger booklets, observing, recording, and being inspired by the Sonoran Desert.
To reward them for their outstanding achievements in their quest to collect all Junior Ranger Badges, Superintendent Brent Range met with the family and took them on a behind the scenes tour of the Visitor Center.
Superintendent Range was able to arrange for the Duncan Family to meet with Ajo Station Border Patrol Agent in Charge Scott Good, and for a family tour of the AjoBorder Patrol Station to learn about how the Border Patrol and NPS work together to protect visitors and the environment."It is so important that we engage our young visitors and get them excited about National Parks, especially as we gear up to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016," remarked Superintendent Range.
The Duncan family has been exploring National and State Parks for just under two years, and have really enjoyed the outdoor learning experience that the junior ranger program has given their family.The boys' father, Mike Duncan said "it's neat how earning one junior ranger badge has led us from one park to the next… the
kids keep learning things and bring that knowledge from one park to another."
"You don't need a giant RV to do this.Our first trip was in a small Ford Focus driving cross country to see as many parks as we could," the boys' mother, Denise, added. "We hope our story will inspire other families to explore the parks."Currently there are over 400 units of the National Park System to explore, with the majority offering a Junior Ranger Program.
Information on the Junior Ranger Program at Organ Pipe Cactus can be found on the internet at www.nps.gov/orpi or become a web ranger at https://www.nps.gov/kids/.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.