April 4, 2008
Grand Teton National Park will highlight the return of spring—and observe National Park Week and Junior Ranger Day—by offering various ranger-led activities during the month of April.
A rite of spring annually celebrated in Grand Teton involves viewing sage grouse as they display and perform their yearly mating dance. Park rangers will lead early-morning tours to observe strutting sage grouse on a traditional lek (mating arena) located just off the Antelope Flats Road near Mormon Row. These ranger-led excursions offer a unique opportunity to view a spring-time ritual, as sage grouse congregate to perform animated displays. Rangers will also provide information about the natural history of sage grouse and conservation efforts underway to protect grouse populations throughout the West.
Strutting Grouse Tours begin from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming, and visitors can join these excursions on several consecutive April weekends. Tours start at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Depending upon snow conditions, the first one is tentatively scheduled for April 12-13. Other tours will be held on April 19-20, and April 26-27. Reservations are required. Please call the Discovery Center at 739.3399 to make a reservation and confirm that a tour will be held on a particular day. The Discovery Center will also provide information about what to wear and bring along on these ranger-led trips.
National Park Week will be observed across the country during the week of April 19–27. The week-long celebration offers diverse opportunities for U.S. citizens and international visitors to explore and learn about America’s exceptional natural, cultural, and recreational heritage. National Park Week also salutes the many individuals, groups and associations that help to make the National Park System one of this Nation’s greatest assets. Additional information about National Park Week is available on the National Park Service Web site at http://www.nps.gov/.
Junior Ranger Day will be celebrated on April 26, 2008. To encourage young people to learn more about national parks across America and make a personal connection to their national heritage, Grand Teton park rangers will conduct special activities at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Participants will embark on a journey of discovery to learn about animals, wildlife habitat, and other park features. At the conclusion of the activities, the children will earn their Junior Ranger designation and receive a Junior Ranger patch.
The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center provides educational opportunities in an engaging and relaxing atmosphere. Parents looking for family activities to enjoy while their kids are on spring-break from school may consider a visit to the Discovery Center located in Moose, Wyoming. The Discovery Center, open daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., offers the chance to learn about the history, people, landscape, and wildlife that make Grand Teton a unique national park. Visitors can also experience the sights and sounds of the park in all seasons through the unique video river exhibit. In addition, a 24-minute high definition documentary film about the park is regularly shown throughout the day in the Director’s Room.
For further information about the grouse watching tours, National Park Week, Junior Ranger Day, or the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, please call 739.3399.