NPS partners with Eastern National to create passport

WASHINGTON — Kids now have their own version of the popular national park passport book. Designed to complement and encourage participation in Junior Ranger programs, Passport To Your National Parks Junior Ranger Edition, will be available in time to celebrate National Junior Ranger Day on April 21, 2018, the first day of National Park Week. The book is a collaboration between the National Park Service and Eastern National, a not-for-profit partner of the National Park Service.

“National Parks are a great place for families to spend quality time together and tools like the Junior Ranger Passport help engage kids at a young age and turn them into national park enthusiasts,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “I love taking my kids and grandkids to parks to teach them about our nation’s history and wild places. Educating kids about everything our national parks have to offer is critical as we pass on the legacy of our public lands to future generations. The passport facilitates that education and also allows them to take a piece of our parks back home with them until their next visit.”

“This new book will be a fun way for young visitors to learn about, and connect with, their national parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. “And, just like the regular version of the book, it will provide a great keepsake to serve as a reminder of park visits.”

Part of the Passport To Your National Parks program, the Junior Ranger Passport book features dedicated pages to collect official park cancellations, or ink stamps, indicating the name and date of a park visit. Intended for children ages 5-12, the new book is full of vivid artwork from renowned illustrator Dave Klug and includes contemporary, interactive and educational content. Kids can personalize their books and commemorate their park experiences with a free starter set of colorful park-themed stickers, as well as collect a new set of stickers that will be released for sale each year.

Coinciding with the release of the new book, official Junior Ranger cancellations are available at more than 300 national parks with Junior Ranger programs. The specially designed cancellations resemble the badges earned by visitors who complete Junior Ranger programs and include the name of each park. Park rangers can administer the cancellation stamp at their discretion to anyone who takes the Junior Ranger oath to “Explore, Learn, and Protect.”

“We’re pleased to offer a new activity for kids that combine the Passport program to the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program,” said Kevin C. Kissling, president and CEO of Eastern National. “With the new Junior Ranger Passport book and cancellation, kids are encouraged to ‘Explore, Learn and Protect’ while they collect cancellations during their national park visits.”

The Passport To Your National Parks program has introduced millions of visitors to the national park system since its launch by Eastern National in 1986. This popular program consists of a guidebook that highlights each unit of the national parks and provides space for dated ink “cancellation” stamps, which allow visitors to commemorate their experiences. Visitors can also purchase annual stamp sets, which feature photos from ten new national park sites each year.

SOURCE: National Park Service press release

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith is a Wisconsin native currently living in Illinois with her husband, Eric, and two dogs, Maggie and Grace. She enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and, of course, camping in cabins and park models.

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