Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thank You, Park Ranger

As we enter the third week of the government shutdown, we really miss our national parks and the park rangers and other park employees who take care of these special places. As I looked through my photos, I realized I had so many photos of my kids interacting with park rangers. Park rangers have really helped encourage my kids' love of nature.

Park rangers have taught them things they never expected to learn, things that they not only remember, but ideas and thoughts that come home and are shared with their parents, grandparents, friends, and relatives.

Park rangers have pushed our kids to learn more. The junior ranger program has been fantastic, truly inspiring the next generation to care for our national parks. My kids want to pick up trash not only in national parks, but everywhere they go. They ask about picking flowers when we're out on a hike, knowing that in national parks they are protected. They know that if they have questions about something they see, they can find a ranger who most likely will know the answer, and if not, will probably look it up for them.

Park rangers do much more than teach and sign junior ranger certificates. They share their talents, getting us to think about the amazing resources that national parks protect in new and innovative ways.

Park rangers get down on the kids' level, showing them that they are important. They listen patiently to kids' stories and questions, and help steer them in the right direction.

Park rangers show kids (and sometimes their parents!) new ways to think about the places they visit.

Park rangers are heroes to our kids.

As we travel, we seek out national parks, as we know the 401 National Park Service units preserve unique features and history of our country. These are places that are worth visiting, places we dream about and stay in our memories long after we've left.

National Parks are not restricted just to geography. They are featured on our money. They are visited via the Internet. Most importantly, they are an idea that helps define our country.

Park scientists, educators, and rangers visit classrooms to inspire even more kids to visit.

We want to go to our national parks. We miss seeing these fine people in the green and grey.

We hope that we can soon once again visit these beacons of wildness, history, and special places.

And although we can't go to these places right now, know that we appreciate  everyone who cares for our national parks. Thank you, Park Ranger, each and every one of you. And thank you, all National Park Service employees. You make a difference.


jhami said...


Barbara Farr said...

Nice series of shots.

Sarah T. said...

Very nice!! Extremely well written, thank you!

Mary Robbins said...

Aw, this is such a great post. I'm definitely having my kids buddy up with the rangers when they're older.

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