As National Park Week wrapped up yesterday, I thought a lot about our national parks this past week. I thought about all the memories of our visits there.
I also thought about the junior ranger programs, the park rangers and volunteers, the history, the military service, the transportation options, the wildlife, the earth, the past, the nonprofit organizations, the mental health benefits, and the furry visitors to the park.
I smiled a lot during these thoughts. The national parks bring us great joy in addition to many other benefits. We could also a bit more joy in these times.
National Park Week provided us with a daily reminder of all the goodness within this great and unique system. While this year we all focused on it virtually, it is still a important week.
Thank you for coming along with me on this year’s National Park Week.
Everybody needs a friend! Even the national parks need friends. As part of the National Park Week, today marks Friendship Friday.
The national parks need our time by volunteering and our donations to help continue these great treasures. You can help by supporting one of more than 200 philanthropic organizations that partner with national parks nationwide. In addition, many national parks have nonprofit associations linked to them. In addition, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of our national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service.
Take a moment to check out one of these friend organizations of the national parks today! Click here for a directory of these organizations.
As part of the National Park Week, today is Military Monday. Today, we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of the U.S. military and also discover connections and opportunities within the parks.
The National Park Service preserves and shares the stories of the American military over the last three centuries. The relationship between the national parks and our military goes way back. The U.S. Cavalry served as the first park rangers at our first national park, Yellowstone National Park. Hundreds of soldiers were stationed at Fort Yellowstone.
During World War II, many parks served as training and care locations for military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.
As you plan your next trip, discover the people who have protected our freedom here in America and learn about the places that shaped our military history and culture.
To honor today, take a minute and appreciate the the service and sacrifice of our military here.
As part of the National Park Week, today is Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) Day. Today, we say thank you to the more than 300,000 volunteers within our national parks. Without their hard work and dedication, these parks would not be the same.
For anyone looking to volunteer in the national park system, click here to see more information.
Thank you to our parks VIPs! We can’t wait to get out there again and see you in person to say thanks!
Happy National Park Week! National Park Week is celebrated every April for a week. National Park Week is a time to explore about these amazing places, discover stories of history and culture, volunteer, and find your park!
Each day this week has a theme and today is National Junior Ranger Day! The junior ranger program allows people of all ages to “explore, learn, and protect” your national parks by doing some activities to earn their badge. Each park offers different activities or programs.
(And yes, they really mean all ages as I did the program at a national park as an adult and even before having kids as I thought it was so cool!)
I highly recommend checking this program out the next time you visit a cool place within our national park system!
Since you can’t make to a national park right now, you can become a webranger online! Click here for the web site!
In addition, you can become a junior ranger by learning about the importance of sounds outside. Click here for the packet. Once you complete it, you can get a digital high five. See the last page for the direction.