Posts tagged ‘open spaces’
“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.
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?
Late spring and early summer means it’s gardening season! While gardener parents are probably already allowing their children to help out with the tasks, many don’t consider giving their child his own personal garden area to maintain. However, if your child is old enough and the space is available, Chipper suggests setting up a personal garden for your little one. Below are five reasons why giving your child a garden is beneficial.
1. Encourages responsibility without extreme losses:
Every parent wants to raise a responsible child with the skills to care for another living being. However, it isn’t always easy to assess your child’s capabilities if she has never been given such a task before. Instead of using small animals like goldfish or gerbils as “starter pets,” let your child manage a garden first. Plants require just enough care to teach important lessons about meeting the needs of another creature; but if something goes wrong, and they die, it’s not as devastating.
2. Teaches planning and organizational skills:
Maintaining a garden isn’t as easy as putting plants in the ground at random. A knowledgeable gardener considers the conditions wherein the chosen plants will thrive. Your child will have to plan his garden while thinking about which plants grow best in direct sunlight versus partial shade, how far apart each plant should be from the others, whether or not certain plants affect the health of others, and other concerns. Although he doesn’t have to get everything perfect the first time, introducing such ideas early on will encourage him to improve his garden every year. Making labels for each plant is another great activity they can do!
Now is the best time to encourage independence with 4th of July tomorrow! Most kids love the feeling of control they get when working on something of their own–like a garden. They gets to pick out the plants, decide when to water and weed the beds, and after all the flowers have bloomed and the veggies have grown, they decide what to do with them. This means that, instead of asking us to buy gifts for your kids to give to friends and family, they have something to give them that is more meaningful since they grew it through her own hard work with her own two hands. Or, if your chooses, they may simply keep everything to herself for a tasty dinner or snack. That kind of freedom is something children don’t enjoy too often!
4. Emphasizes the importance of plants in everyday life:
Many people and their kids these days don’t know where their food comes from!Sustainable, local food sources are becoming more popular, according to this New York Time article. You’ll know for sure that your child knows what farming entails if you let him try his hand at gardening. Not only will he know that carrots grow underground and tomatoes bush up, but he’ll have a deep understanding of the life cycle plants and how a seed, if given enough love and care, can grow into something that can nourish his body. This cycle and understanding is not only educational, it is a deeper knowledge of life that will benefit your child for the rest of their life.
5. It’s a chance to get messy and have fun:
Gardening is a chance for digging in dirt, playing with worms, picking ripe veggies, and cooling down with the hose. If that doesn’t sound like an exciting day for a child, then Chipper isn’t a squirrel! Getting outdoors is vital to children’s health and
development and caring for a garden will get them out that door more often! If you are lacking space in your backyard, check out this short video on easy indoor gardens here. Need some kids sized gardening gear? Check out this Junior Gardening Set from Let’s Go Chipper!
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
Going green means not only recycling and buying organic. It means growing your own food too! The food industry in America pollutes our environment almost more than any other industry in our country. The chemical, processed foods and preservatives we eat are making us unhealthy and unhappy. Help make sustainable, organic food for you and your loved ones by making your own garden! Or plant one together at your school or local community building.
There’s no better way to getting your hands dirty and spread your enthusiasm for healthy eating with your friends than by throwing a food party! You can host an indoor gardening party or an outdoor celebration! All you need is some empty egg cartons (for growing seedlings that can be transplanted later), or pots (with holes in the bottom), dirt or compost, and a few little shovels or even large spoons. Pick up some certified organic seed packets at a gardening store or order online at www.seedsofchange.com. Buying seeds here will ensure that your planting party seeds are NOT genetically modified (GMO).
Hybrid or GMO seeds are sterile and less nutritious. Since they don’t reproduce, they actually harm the biodiversity of our food sources. Also, using GMO seeds supports a vicious and expensive cycle that forces our farmers to buy new seed every year rather than following the ancient tradition of collecting and cleaning seeds after a harvest and saving them to be replanted to grow into more produce year after year. Certain natural strains of seeds have long histories. Recycled by farmers for over 150 years, these seeds need to be preserved just the way they are. We all want our food to be fresh, simple and pure!
If planting an indoor garden versus a window or outdoor garden, make sure to chose vegetables and herbs that can be grown in a confined space and don’t need much other than a little sunlight and water. Some good seed choices would be peppers, heirloom or cherry tomatoes, r simple herbs such as sage or marjoram. Gather your friends, divvy up the seeds and other supplies and get planting! Make a copy of the care instructions for each type of plant for everyone! Also make sure to only one type of seed gets planted in each container.
Keep in touch and let each other know how each of your little “farms” are faring. Make sure to transplant when the sprout get about two inches high if you used egg cartons (maybe throw a second Transplanting Party!). Then when they have fully grown, harvest your plants and make a feast! It’s yet another great way to get everyone together and when you all eat the delicious produce you all grew with your own two hands, nothing tastes or feels better! You can even keep the cycle going by cleaning your seeds and starting over gain by replanting next year.
Anyone can start their own little garden! It’s a great, fun way to get people growing their own veggies, herbs, and even edible flowers! GO GREEN AND GET CHIPPER TODAY!
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.
Exploring nature is good or the body and the soul! Playing outside creates meaningful connections with peers, siblings and family while also providing necessary exercise. We can learn so much about our planet and ourselves by just stepping into the forest. Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t have to be limited to hiking, camping or heading to the mountains for a weekend getaway (although those are all fine ideas). Connecting with nature is as simple as heading out the back door! Why not try one of these ideas in your very own yard this Summer?
- Go cloud watching
- Build a fort
- climb a tree
- Roar at the moon
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt
- Plant a garden
- Create a backyard beach
- Explore a flower
- Run barefoot through the grass (especially wet grass)
- Dig in the dirt
- Watch ants
- Camp out in your backyard
- Tour your neighbor’s front gardens
- Take a color walk and name all the colors you see
- Jump in puddles
- Birdwatching expedition
- Bake mud cakes
- Raise a caterpillar; release a butterfly
- Build a fairy house with twigs and leaves
- Make leaf, rock or bark rubbings (get creative and make an outside art project out of it)
- Start a back yard field guide (complete with a drawn map and descriptions)
- Create rock art (trying to balance as many rocks on each other can be fun too–Rock Jinga!
- Gaze at the stars and find shapes
- Plant a tree from seed or some flowers
- Play with sticks (sword fights are always fun but be careful!)
- Build snow animals during the Winter
- Watch a sunset or a sunrise from your yard; look at it each day and see how the sun moves!
- Go butterfly watching (and maybe catch a few!)
- Host a back yard garden tour or throw a planting party!
- Make a moon journal
- Run through a pile of leaves
- Start a seed collection..or a rock collection!
- Paint with mud
- Take a flower walk (collect some, place in a thick book, for a fun, beautiful dried-flower craft!)
- Create a fairy garden
- Go on a backyard photo shoot and make a album of your findings later!
- Search for spider webs
- Go on a back yard safari
- Explore a tree
- Design a backyard hiking trail
- Create a treasure map
- Enjoy a backyard campfire
- Go on a bird scavenger hunt
- Make a bird-feeder
- Start a nature journal
- Paint rocks
- Create land art
- Take a compass walk
- Make sand angels (or a nice snow angel in Winter)
- Go on a backyard bug hunt
There’s so much to do with out going very far! For more ideas and inspiration to get you and your family outside and connecting with nature, visit: http://goexplorenature.blogspot.com. Get outdoors and get Chipper today!