April 12, 2011
Grand Teton National Park will celebrate National Junior Ranger Day and the start of National Park Week on Saturday, April 16, with several fun activities planned for the whole family. The activities are free of charge and will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., families will have an opportunity to talk with park rangers and explore the vehicles and equipment regularly used in operating the park and keeping visitors safe; vehicles will include an ambulance, fire engine, patrol car and snowplow. Staff from the Teton Raptor Center will also be on hand to introduce families to live birds and provide information about birds of prey that live in Grand Teton.
From 12 noon to 3 p.m., children can participate in a Ranger Bootcamp Obstacle Course, where they will compete in physical activities that mimic park ranger jobs. Youngsters can also test their skills against the abilities of certain wildlife species during a game called Animal Olympics. Other activities include a story corner, a touch table with animal furs, feathers and bones to examine, and a chance to dress up in an actual ranger uniform. Children who participate in at least three of the activities will earn either a Junior Ranger patch or badge.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proclaimed April 16-24, 2011, as National Park Week. To highlight this annual observance, Grand Teton National Park—along with the entire 394 national park units across America—will waive entrance fees throughout the week. A seven-day pass to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park is normally $25 for a private, noncommercial vehicle.
Junior Ranger Day offers just one of many opportunities to connect with this year's National Park Week theme, “Healthy Parks, Healthy People.” The 2011 motto highlights the connection between human and environmental health and the vital role that America's national parks play in both.
Grand Teton Association will offer a 15-percent discount in the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center bookstore on Junior Ranger Day. Numerous educational and informational books and other interesting items (videos, posters, ornaments, plush animals, toys, etc.) can be purchased using the special Junior Ranger Day discount.