NPCA's Park Advocate » youth programs News and views of the National Parks Conservation Association Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:08:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 14 Summer Learning Adventures in National Parks Mon, 30 Jun 2014 18:32:39 +0000 School may be out for the summer, but there are plenty of ways to explore science, history, and the arts—with or without kids—in some of America’s best classrooms, our national parks. Each month, NPCA puts together a slideshow exploring our National Park System. To get these features delivered to your inbox, sign up for Park […]]]> 0 “What’s in the Water?” More Than You Might Expect Tue, 10 Jun 2014 12:39:19 +0000 For many of us, national parks provide the clean water necessary for that unforgettable fishing trip or that swimming hole to cool off during a family camping trip. However, more than half of our 401 national parks have waterways that are considered “impaired” under Clean Water Act standards. These waters that sustain life and provide […]]]> 0 Got Milkweed? Crowdfunding Creates a Butterfly Effect for National Parks Thu, 15 May 2014 13:42:57 +0000 Late last month, 30 middle-school students in Queens, New York, planted 200 new milkweed plants at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to provide habitat for one of America’s best-known insects, the monarch butterfly. Almost as remarkable as the improvements a few dozen students could make in just one day was how they got there in […]]]> 0 5 Lessons, Countless Memories Tue, 13 May 2014 12:31:11 +0000 Two years ago, my family embarked on a marvelous six-week national park adventure to discover activities and locations that were particularly engaging for families. What began as an exploratory exercise produced memorable, inspirational experiences that bonded us as a family, and the adventures we shared have continued spark strong new interests for our kids. The […]]]> 0 Do National Parks Matter to Millennials? Mon, 05 May 2014 12:16:43 +0000 As a college student with an on-again, off-again connection with nature, I recently wondered: Is having a relationship with the outdoors still relevant to people my age? To many people, the college experience typically brings to mind memories of tailgate parties, crowded dorm rooms, and questionable dining hall food. You may not think about a […]]]> 0 “Save All of the Natural Things” Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:56:11 +0000 “Who do the national parks belong to?” My colleague Kari Kiser, Pacific Regional Council Chairman Michael Malaga, and I posed this question to hundreds of Bay Area schoolchildren last month at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California. The answers varied from “the police” to “the government” to “my parents.” Whenever children replied, “all of […]]]> 0 Laying the Groundwork: Reclaiming D.C.’s “Forgotten River” Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:24:56 +0000 Imagine having a beautiful river in your backyard, but being afraid to enjoy it. The Anacostia has a bad reputation in Maryland and Washington, D.C., as one of the nation’s most endangered rivers. Suffering from heavy pollution and a lack of interest, some locals have dubbed the Anacostia the “forgotten river.” Thankfully, community advocates are […]]]> 0 How One NPS Employee Turned Her Big Idea about Muppets into a Big Online Adventure for Kids Thu, 12 Sep 2013 13:35:50 +0000 This past spring, Muppets Elmo and Murray learned how birds build nests at Gateway National Park and how the seasons change at the Grand Canyon. They talked with park rangers about concepts like why animals need “habitat” and what it means for them to be “endangered.” These are just a few ways that preschoolers from […]]]> 0 Miami-Area Partnership Gets Urban Youth Involved in Protecting Parks Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:49:54 +0000 Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of watching young students from urban Miami eager and excited to get involved in protecting the national parks in their area. Just a few months ago, many of these remarkable kids had never even been to the Everglades and Biscayne. Now they were dedicating seven hours on a […]]]> 1 Can Technology Improve the National Park Experience? Fri, 21 Jun 2013 13:48:24 +0000 National parks are places of wonder where families can introduce their children to meteors in the starry night skies, salamanders on the forest floor, or geology in action. However, young people are going outdoors less and less for a variety of reasons—fear, lack of access, no familiarity or time, etc.  Simultaneously, technology is becoming ubiquitous. […]]]> 0