Park celebrates Junior Ranger Day Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Park celebrates Junior Ranger Day Saturday, April 22, 2017. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is gearing up to make some new friends when it celebrates Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 22 at Sugarlands Visitor Center, Cades Cove Visitor Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Participants will include “kids” of all ages who want to learn more about exploring and protecting these national treasures.

According to Park Superintendent Cassius Cash, a variety of ranger-led activities will be enjoyed by all members of the family as the community comes together to celebrate the National Parks. Events include ranger-guided walks, historic toy making, talks with a wildland firefighter, creating a personalized bandanna, and an opportunity to learn more about local wildlife through “touch tables” featuring animal skins, skulls and scat.

Special park partners, the University of Tennessee’s Astronomy Department, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, Smoky Mountain Field School, and the National Parks Conservation Association, will be on site to celebrate Earth Day and this year’s upcoming total solar eclipse. The organizations will offer special celestial presentations and activities.
Children can earn a free Junior Ranger badge by completing three specifically planned activities. Older visitors may also participate in a “Not-So-Junior Ranger” program and earn their own patch.

Visitors are reminded to bring water, sunscreen and appropriate footwear. Inclement weather is always a possibility, so include lightweight raincoats or ponchos.
For more info or questions about this event, contact Ranger Joshua Contois at Joshua-Contois@nps.gov. or at 865-436-1252. To find out how you can join parks, programs and partners in celebrating National Park Week go to NPS.gov.

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