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Contact: Bear Gulch Visitor Center, 831-389-4485 ext. 235
Join Pinnacles National Monument in celebrating National Park Week through a series of programs and events. Festivities begin with a public release of California condor on Saturday April 21, and culminate with Junior Ranger Day on Saturday April 28, 2007. The expanded schedule of National Park Week events is below.
National Park Week is an annual Presidentially proclaimed week to underscore our commitment to conserve our natural and historical treasures and encourage all people to enjoy, learn from, and protect these important parts of our heritage. This year's theme, "Connecting our Children to America's National Parks," reflects the National Park Service's commitment to encouraging young people to enjoy outdoor recreation and better appreciate our Nation's beauty and history.
On Saturday, April 21, up to three California condors will be released into the wild at Pinnacles National Monument, 80 miles south of San Jose. The public is invited to attend the event, which begins at 9:30 a.m., to witness the first free flights of these condors. The release will take place on the east side of the park off of Highway 25. Shuttle services from designated parking areas will transport guests to within a mile and a quarter of viewing area. Guests unable to walk the remaining mile can request special assistance. Spotting scopes, binoculars, water, layered clothing and good hiking shoes are highly recommended. Parking is limited, and is on a first come, first served basis. Car pools are encouraged; arrival by 7:30 a.m. is recommended. Additional information is available at Pinnacles’ web page http://www.nps.gov/pinn/naturescience/condors.htm.
Junior Ranger Day centers around encouraging participation in the Junior Ranger program, which is designed to engage children and families in the stories embodied in their national parks. Children complete activity books that lead them through the park in a kid-friendly way. They are drawn to parts of the park story to which they can relate. When completed, they present their booklets to a ranger to earn a patch or badge and a certificate.