american west, california, Camping, Deserts, Florida, Hiking, Historical sites, Travel, Vacation, writing

National Parks Week 2021

Exploring in Petrified Forest National Park

Every year, by presidential proclamation, we celebrate National Parks Week, recognizing the impact that national parks have in preserving the important natural, cultural, and historic resources of our nation.

It’s no secret that I love national parks. The collection of junior ranger badges that I’ve collected- along with my kids, of course- is probably the most tangible proof of that. And while unfortunately I won’t be able to head over to a national park before the end of the week, we are indeed celebrating. My students have been treated to a presentation about national parks across the country, which had tie-ins to where they are in their curriculum. We also worked on our virtual junior ranger badges for Yosemite National Park. My own Sami is using this week to finally finish her Sequoia junior ranger packet for submission. As she worked on her sheets, we had a few good giggles reminiscing over our adventures this past summer, especially as she recalled yelling at the biggest tree in the world, and called the Sherman tree ‘stupid.’ And she looked forward excitedly to our plans to camp in Yosemite this coming August.

‘Seriously Mom, another photo!’

Even with the pandemic, we have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to visit national parks and other federally protected lands. Our trips to the Everglades and Biscayne National Park were unexpected blessings, and there was no better way to socially distance outdoors than in our national parks.

With that, here’s a hike down memory lane from our own national parks adventures. Thank you for adventuring with me, and be sure to get out there and #findyourpark.

The most economical way to explore our parks is with the America the Beautiful pass. For $80, the pass grants access to national parks and monuments as well as other federal lands. We use ours when we’re our exploring our local mountains, which are national recreation areas, as well as our national forests. Also if you have a fourth grader, visit Every Kid Outdoors and complete the activity for a voucher which will grant families of those students free admission to national lands for the rest of the school year through August. Because of the pandemic, this opportunity has been extended to fifth graders as well through August 2021.

Kayaking the Everglades
Not the best photo, but our first national park as a family: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Even Dad was on that adventure.

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