Posts filed under ‘Parks’
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.”
We are definitely Chipper for Parks! Parks are places for us to clear our minds and enjoy our surrounding. They are places for our kids to free their imaginations and explore nature! Stretching over 1,200 square miles (761,268 acres) of central California, Yosemite National Park is one the largest and oldest parks in America. With almost 4 million visitors each year, it is also one of the most frequented parks in the country. It’s no wonder why so many people travel from far and wide to visit if you have ever been lucky enough to visit before. The park’s forests of Redwoods and Sequoias and it’s huge valley’s filled with waterfalls and gigantic rock formations are awe-inspiring indeed.
When famous conservationist, John Muir, arrived to Yosemite in 1868 from his beautiful home land of Scotland, he was changed for life and inspired others to visit this magical place, leading the area’s way towards being a National Park. He also spurred scientific interest and was one of the first to theorize that the major landforms in Yosemite Valley were created by large alpine glaciers. After President Theodore Roosevelt visited Yosemite in 1903 to visit John Muir, he said, “”It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.”
Yosemite is full of opportunities for fun activities in the great outdoors! Explore Yosemite by hiking or biking. Spend some time with a park ranger learning about Yosemite or get a broad overview by taking a bus tour. You can teach your children to give back to the planet and help Yosemite by volunteering for a few hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day).
Your kids will love becoming apart of the historical Junior Ranger or Little Cub! The Junior Rangers reach back to the Yosemite Junior Nature School, organized in June 1930 and lasting until 1954. In 2010, more than 24,000 children became Yosemite Junior Rangers (up from 6,000 in 2007). Learn more about Junior Rangers with these links. Consider visiting the Nature Center at Happy Isles (summer only) or the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for interactive exhibits.
Don’t forget to earn your FREE Chipper for Parks Badge on your next park visit by posting a picture of you and your tot in nature on Chipper’s Facebook Page, or give back to a park of your choice– in your name– when you purchase a badge here!
The Yosemite Guide has information about all scheduled activities and hours of operation for services.
Visit here for more information on this national treasure.
Are you Chipper For Parks? If so, join us in raising awareness and necessary funds to support programs – from local playgrounds
to our national park systems. Due to continued government cutbacks funds are being diverted and parks and playgrounds are being closed. Chipper and friends are on a mission to connect and celebrate with families and communities across the country.
Help kids earn their badge by stepping onto a new path! A path that connects and provides everyone with an opportunity to play, explore, and learn about our parks and environment.
By purchasing the Chipper For Parks badge you are helping raise funds which will directly support:
- Educational programs for schools and communities, underserved children and all families
- Conservation and revitalization programs – from clearing trails to planting flowers and trees, to the repair and maintenance
- Sustainability programs – keep the parks open!
Chipper For Parks Badge: $5
Includes Chipper Kit filled with play-based ideas to help educate and connect in your schools and communities.
Click Here to purchase one today and start supporting our parks!
The Chipper For Parks badge is a colorful, embroidered, iron on patch made in the USA. Wear your badge proudly and encourage other kids to join Chipper’s path to the great outdoors.
Proceeds will directly benefit educational and community programs, trail maintenance and keeping our parks open. You can leave a park name and we will contribute directly in your name. Up to $2.50 of each purchase will directly support programs.
Your Chipper For Parks badge also includes a kit of ideas and activities you can launch in your classroom or community. Come together to help our park systems.
Stay connected and learn how we are all making a difference through our daily updates and blogs. If you would like to become a true Chipper Ambassador, let us know at your time of purchase and we will get you ready to go into the great outdoors – leading a new generation of children and families onto a path to happiness and health.
Let’s Go Chipper!
There’s nothing like spending time with the family around the camp fire under the open sky. Camping gives us all a retreat from the crazy, busy pace of our daily lives and gives us time to reflect and connect with your children. A little fresh air does wonders to a depressed teenager or a grumpy 4 year old. Take a nature walk and collect some rocks and leaves or just laze by a stream and watch the butterflies flutter by. There is no limit to the fun you can find when exploring our parks open spaces.
Join Chipper in supporting our Park Systems this summer by visiting and camping at our State and National Parks. Get out there and have your own adventure at one of our 279 State Parks. Click HERE to find parks with available sites and reserve your spot to start enjoying the great outdoors! Our noble Park Ranger’s can use all the support they can get with budget cuts and closures happening left and right. Donate in your name to any park of your choice when your purchase our Chipper for Parks Badge. Nothing inspires and benefits you and your children quite like nature and parks are the safest, easiest place to reconnect with our beautiful planet. Where will you go for your next camping adventure?
Parks are great places for children to make important connections–with their parents, their peers, and the environment. They are also a great place to improve and maintain kid’s physical fitness with play based activities. Just by playing, they are moving and that’s good exercise! And playing outside, in the dirt and sun, has been shown by countless studies to improve and benefit every aspect of a child’s growth and development. Sadly, many parks around the country are closing down due to economic strain and lack of attendance. That’s why the folks here at Let’s Go Chipper are championing parks and open spaces all over the world to encourage visitation and inspire children everywhere to be the environmental stewards of the future! Here is a list of six reason’s why parks are so important for children’s well being!
• Parks are safe places for kids to go. Whether it is reality or just the perception of reality, many parents are fearful of letting their kids play unsupervised outdoors except in very controlled circumstances. Stranger-danger, fear of poisonous plants, fear of stinging and clinging insects—all of these are reasons why nature for some is a place to be feared not embraced. Parks are one of the few places that are generally very safe for kids to go. They are specially designated places for the public to enjoy nature, free from most hazards, and watched over by staff and the public. Park visitors promptly report unsafe conditions or hazards. Many eyes on the park make for a safer place for kids to play.
• Parks are one of the best places for discovery and play. Think back on your own childhood. The life of your imagination was a fertile place. Playing king-of-the-hill on a pile of dirt, building a fort or a clubhouse in the woods, flipping rocks over in a stream, exploring in uncharted territory—all were hugely enriching experiences. Natural parks are places for kids to discover the eggs of a frog in the water collected in a tire track and to see squirrels (Like Chipper!) running through the tops of trees, jumping from tree to tree. Kids will load up their pockets with objects collected on a hike to later marvel at how interesting the things found in nature really are. Parks are places for kids to discover nature and exercise their imagination!
• Parks are places for families to connect – Parks connect kids and adults with nature and to each other. Perhaps more than ever, families need places to connect with each other. Parks are all-purpose places for kids to connect with nature and with families to connect with peers. They are one of the few places that families can go where there are no barriers to communication—no amplified loudspeakers, no big screen TVs, nothing other than the sounds and sights of nature. Parks enable connections between families, between generations, and to nature!
• Parks are close-to-home nature places. As open space is rapidly disappearing from our communities, designated public open space and places for nature are becoming all the more important for all ages. The power of local parks, even small neighborhood spaces, to connect kids with nature is not to be underestimated. Joe Elton, Virginia state park director, recently reiterated a long-standing observation about parks: “You visit your local parks daily, your state parks a few times a year, and your national parks perhaps but once in a lifetime.” Kids can find nature in almost every park, and there are parks and public lands close to where almost everyone lives. If there are not, become an advocate for them. They should be everyone’s backyard!
• Parks provide a sense of adventure for kids. Parks have the unique ability to provide kids with a sense of adventure. Every hike in the woods brings new things to see, and around every turn there is something new to discover. Kids gain a sense of accomplishment from challenges met outdoors, which leads to greater self-confidence and self-worth. Parks are a great place for kids to take risks, within acceptable limits, and to discover that the fears they have about the unknown are conquerable. Every successful adventure in the park that kids have contributes to their maturity and to their developing a sense of stewardship for wildlife, natural resources, and open spaces.
• Parks are a place to remember. Some of our earliest and most special memories were formed in parks—lifetime experiences that we remember the rest of our lives with great satisfaction. Parks were special places where we forged friendships, had adventures, and learned new things about life and ourselves. Parks still provide these kinds of experiences to kids, and they produce powerful positive memories, affecting kids in ways we cannot always easily perceive. These park experiences influence kids’ ethics, their career choices, and even how they will be as parents.
Parks connect kids to nature in all the right ways. Discover where your close-to-home local parks are and get to know the park personnel who supervise them. Enable your kids to play there—they will be grateful to you for the rest of their lives. One simple way to support a parks is to purchase your very own Chipper for Parks Badge. We will donate a portion of the cost to any park of your choice, in your name. Support your local parks and noble Park Rangers–Get Chipper and Get Outdoors!!!
Are you Chipper for Parks? Do you want to give back to the community and nature? Come join Chipper and friends every Saturday until March 16th, 2013 at the Presidio Shoreline to help keep Crissy Fields stay clean of trash and invasive weeds. Volunteering is a way to help support your community and to teach your kids how to help out. It’s also a beautiful way to spend a summer day and connect with the family!
Volunteers are also needed to help keep these public areas maintained as popular destinations for both local and worldwide visitors to use and enjoy. Projects include winter beach clean-ups, weeding, vegetation pruning, sand removal, and trail maintenance. Project locations are at Crissy Field and along the coastal regions of the Presidio, including East Beach, Crissy Airfield, Crissy Promenade, Baker Beach, and China Beach. Walk in volunteers are welcome or register here. Groups of 5 or more volunteers must register in advance and a special project can be arranged just for you!
- Volunteers ages 10 and up are welcome. With young volunteers, adult chaperones are required.
- No experience necessary. Training and tools will be provided. Ability to do manual physical labor, lift and move objects, repeatedly kneel and bend at the waist, and learn to use a variety of hand tools. Fulfills community service requirements.
- Bring the appropriate waiver forms (go to link at bottom).
- Please wear clothes that can get dirty, long pants, close-toed shoes, layers for changing weather, and rain gear if necessary. Also, bring a personal water bottle and sunscreen.
Can’t make it out on Saturdays? Give back in another way by purchasing a Chipper for Parks badge. A portion of what you pay goes to a park of your choice in your name! Also, check out our book “Let’s Stroll with Crissy Fields” to learn more about the beautiful diversity in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Meet Elroy, the Great Egret and take his tour learning about the history of Crissy Field, plants and animals, and the tides and marshes!
Meeting Location varies. We will meet on site for the workday.
Call (415) 447-9376 to hear the updated schedule.
Location: Crissy Field
Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Fee Information: Free
Contact Name: Laura Elze
Contact Email: Laura_Elze@nps.gov
Contact Phone Number: (415) 447-9743
For additional info, click here.
Join Chipper and his friends at your closest National or State Park this Saturday, June 6th, to celebrate the 5th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day)! Admission to a number of parks is free and there an array of events being held by federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry. Chipper and others are again teaming up to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun! Prime goals of the day are reaching currently underserved populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors.
Each GO Day event will offer a mix of information centers and “active fun” areas – places where guests, and especially kids, can use a fishing pole, go geocaching, help pitch a tent and more. The sites will provide photo opportunities with characters like Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl and other interesting creatures. Many sites also feature areas that focus on other aspects of healthy living, including sustainability and good nutrition. In addition to the GO Day events, participants will be invited to nearby follow-up activities called EchO events occurring throughout the summer, which include introductions to mountain biking and fly-fishing, hikes with rangers to see wildlife, kayaking and rafting and much more!
Save the Date and Save our Parks by purchasing your very own Chipper for Parks Badge and you can chose which park to donate to in your own name. Chipper encourages young Americans to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters this GO Day!
This Saturday, June 2nd, join Chipper and friends for the 20th anniversary of America’s largest trail celebration! Save the date and find an event near you at this link: http://www.americanhiking.org/NTD.aspx. There are so many trails to explore at our State and National Parks!
Take a local hike or take the dogs out for a nice walk in the summer sun. There are also bike events, horseback rides, and paddle trips if you really want to get active. Gather the family and go on a photo safari or bird watching expedition. Your kids will love the outdoor experiences and learn so much, especially with extremely educational geocaching activities taking place at a number of parks.
Take advantage of this special day to volunteer and give back to the community. There are a number of projects where you can lend a hand: trail maintenance and clean up, health fairs, and more! Talk to the Park Rangers at a park near you to learn more and Get Chipper on the trails this weekend!
For those of you living in the Bay Area, here’s a link to all the local activities and volunteering opportunities to celebrate our trails this weekend: http://www.parksconservancy.org/events/volunteer-events/special-events/national-trails-day.html
We all look forward to long weekends full of relaxation and fun. This Memorial weekend, spend some quality time with the family at your local park! Our National and State parks need the support that our visits bring during these hard financial times. The last Monday in May, our nation celebrates this holiday that is more than just a day off from work. It is observed in honor of our nation’s armed service personnel who were killed in wartime. While you enjoy your time off, consider taking a trip to one of the many parks that specifically celebrates and honors the heroes of Memorial Day. Also be sure to check out national parks that may offer special events during the holiday weekend (there are many!). Here are a few parks with tributes to our fallen comrades:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial: On you next visit to D.C., see sculptures of gratitude to those who restored freedom to South Korea. It is open to the public 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions 9:30am to 11:30pm daily.
World War II Memorial: Also located in Washington, D.C., honors the service of 16 million members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the support of millions on the home front, and the ultimate sacrifice of 405,399 Americans. The park staff offers daily interpretive tours every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The Flight 93 National Memorial: Located in Shanksville, PA, honors the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 who lost their lives in a struggle with hijackers who had overtaken the plane on the morning of September 11th, 1991.Hours are as follows: Winter Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Summer Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mount Rushmore National Monument: Located in South Dakota, this famous monument was established in 1925 and commemorates the first 150 years of the history of the United States. It’s open every day of the year, except for December 25.
Gettysburg National Military Park: The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the most critical battles of the Civil War and definitely deserves your attention. This Pennsylvanian park not only commemorates the Union victory, but also recognizes the devastation the war had on local farmers and residents. From mid-June through mid-August, Gettysburg National Military Park offers a variety of ranger-guided programs for visitors
National Mall and Memorial Parks: Officially established in 1965, these parks protect some of the older parkland in the National Park System. Check out the interpretive programs offered by the park service every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Chamizal National Memorial: The Chamizal Convention of 1963 was a milestone in diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States. This Texas memorial was established to commemorate this treaty, which resulted in the peaceful settlement of a century-long fight over boundaries. The Memorial’s Visitor Center and Los Paisanos Gallery are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, while the Park Grounds are open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Memorial is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Nature re-excites kid’s imaginations and ignites their appreciation for all the amazing aspects of our planet. By creating a simple scavenger hunt for certain rocks, plants, or animals, our children learn about the environment and all the important flora and fauna apart of it. The great outdoors engage all the senses: looking at the clouds, smelling the flowers, making daisy chains! The activities are endless. For ideas, check out Chipper’s Nature Activities page here: http://letsgochipper.com/natural_crafts.php. Many of the important lessons kids learn in nature directly connect with lessons for social life. For example, hunting for our quick little lizard friends requires patience, thoughtfulness, and respect. One must slowly, quietly search for their hiding spots and then gently capture them in our hands, holding them carefully. You can talk about all the insects this lizard may eat: grasshoppers, ants, or beetles. Have your child name the colors of the lizard and notice their shinny, colorful stomachs. Laugh at their funny bobbing mating dance and take note of other quirky lizard behavior, such as how lizard’s tails fall off but then grow back! The great outdoors, whether in a park or the back yard, is the perfect place to excite all of their senses, spark their creativity and playfulness, while also learning so much! What other critters do you and your kids have fun looking for???
Park Ranger’s inspire us to reconnect with nature. Many of us get caught up in our busy lives and feel like there’s never enough time to get to the park or take the family camping. But being in touch with our planet gives us all a much-needed respite. The Earth is not only our home; it provides us with everything we need, physically and spiritually. Nature was mankind’s first church and our National and State park rangers are our current environmental-clergymen! No matter what you believe, no one can deny the extreme importance of every facet of our planet. That’s why it’s so much fun to learn more about it!
Like Chipper, Lloyd Luketin is one Ranger who very dedicated to encouraging future generations to appreciate the outdoors and get inspired by the environments many fascinating aspects. He was very grateful for the opportunity to answer some of our questions about how awesome it is to be a Park Ranger at the famous Great Mountains National Park, home of “Smoky the Bear”-America’s fire watch mascot.
1. What inspired you to become a Park Ranger?
As a child I always liked to play outside, exploring the natural environments around me, and I still do. I like the feel of snowflakes melting on my face and mud squishing between my toes. I used to take long walks in the woods behind my house and examine all the birds, trees, flowers, and butterflies. There are two reasons I wanted to become a Park Ranger. First, I want to get today’s youth outside and in touch with the natural world around them. In sharing my love of nature I hope I will have a small part in developing the next generation of stewards who will be protecting the world’s wild places for future generations. The second reason I became a Park Ranger is that I get to be outside everyday. The mountains, valleys, forests, and streams that make up the Great Smoky Mountains are both my office and my playground.
2. What is the best part about being a Park Ranger? Describe a day on the job.
I work in the Resource Education Division. I teach outdoor, curriculum based, environmental education programs with children from kindergarten to high school. Every morning I will meet a school bus of children that are here on a school field trip. We may hike to a waterfall and study animals groups and habitats along the way or we may climb into a mountain stream and study aquatic invertebrates. We may even hike to the top of the highest peak to study weather and air pollution. Every day is different. The one thing that doesn’t change is that every day the student, teachers, and Rangers all have fun outside learning about the natural world.
3. What’s a fun fact about your park that you like to share with visitors?
The Great Smoky Mountains is famous for its natural history, cultural history and scenic vistas. We are located in Tennessee and Half in North Carolina. Scientists think we may have 100,000 different species of life in the park. One of those species is the American Black Bear. We have more than two Black Bears per square mile in the park. This may be the highest density of Black Bears in the world. We like to say that the Black Bear is a charismatic mega fauna. That means that it is a big (mega) animal (fauna) that everyone likes (charismatic).
4. What advice would you gives kids and their parent’s visiting your park?
There are so many things to do in the park that you should plan your favorite activities first before you even arrive. A great way to research what to do is on our website, www.nps.gov/grsm. When you get to the park, stop at one of our visitor centers and pick up a free Smokies Guide and a map. There is a lot of information available in our visitor centers along with rangers to answer any questions. Don’t forget to visit “Clingmans Dome”, the highest mountain in the park!
5. What is the most important thing about parks in your opinion?
There are two important things about National Parks. All the plants, animals and history are protected for all time and National Parks are here for us to enjoy. Please come visit us here at the Great Smoky Mountains. You will be glad you did!
Most of the park is a magnificent wilderness. The Cherokee described its foggy, serene mountains as shaconage, meaning “blue, like smoke.” Artifacts and log-home ruins from the Native peoples, who were very much in touch with their environments, can be seen all over the park. A visit here will surely motivate your kids to get out and play while also learning so much about nature. The Junior Park Ranger program (available at most National and State Parks) is an excellent place to start the process of improving our home we call Earth for your kids and all the generations after them. Let’s get outside and get Chipper today!