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“It’s a national invitation for everyone to come out and enjoy a local park, and keep enjoying and exploring,” said Grace of Kids to Parks Day, the tagline for which is Kids Need Parks and Parks Need Kids.
“You just kind of get to relax in a way and you don’t really have to worry about anything in the world. Now, I’m a kid so I normally don’t have to worry about that stuff.
But for everyone else, it’s a way to get out and not worry about anything, and wonder, ‘how did nature do that?’”
“[We] realize the importance of getting children of all ages outside, not only for the health and wellness of our children, but also of our parks and public lands,” explained National Park Trust Executive Director Grace Lee. “Sometimes, the best ideas are simple ideas.
In its first year, National Park Trust “was delighted” that about 18,000 people participated in Kids to Parks Day; this year, it’s estimated that more than 1 million people throughout the USA will take part.
“It’s a national invitation for everyone to come out and enjoy a local park, and keep enjoying and exploring,” said Lee of Kids to Parks Day, the tagline for which is Kids Need Parks and Parks Need Kids.
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The National Park Service has been involved with Kids to Parks Day since its inception and s the mission of “introducing children to the outdoors and help them form (hopefully) lifelong bonds to the outdoors,” said Kathy Kupper, spokesperson with the National Park Service.
“More studies are showing just how important is it have that unstructured time outside,” said Kupper. “The sooner we can introduce young people to the outdoors, the better.
And for those that don’t, their regularly-scheduled programs and Junior Ranger programs are hands-on and kid-friendly, so make a good fit for the day, too.
An integral part of Kids to Parks Day is the Buddy Bison Student Ambassador program, created in 2015 “to promote the vision and mission of National Park Trust.” (Now) 13-year-old Tigran Nahabedian of Ojai, Calif.
, (2017) and 11-year-old Bryan Wilson (2018) of Navajo Nation, Ariz. The ambassadors “embody the mission of NPT by promoting the importance of preserving our national parks and public lands, and engaging children of all ages with these iconic and special places.
“Our role is to get kids and adults connected to the outdoors,” said Tigran of his work as a Buddy Bison Student Ambassador. “This is important because kids will be taking over our National Parks, and everything else.
“They are the crown jewels of our country, and without them our country would not be as great as it is right now. I’m really glad to be a part of it [Buddy Bison Student Ambassador program] – it allows me to connect to kids and learn about the National Parks.
Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Tigran will spend Kids to Parks Day volunteering with the Science Explorers Club at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, which includes talking about the area’s wildlife and history.
In Vineland, N.J.
“Children need the outdoors – they need to breathe in nature and they need fresh air,” encourages Sarah.
“They need to really realize that nature is an actual thing and not just on the TV, phone, iPad, or whatever.
“It’s out there – go explore it.
Yosemite National Park – 4,336,890: First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park in California is best known for its waterfalls. Within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area and much more.
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