National Parks for Kids
Preservation of our national parks depends on helping future generations of park visitors appreciate these American treasures of culture, history, recreation, and nature. That’s why Western National Parks Association invests in engaging programs for young people.
WNPA distributes awards and scholarships for exceptional contributions to national parks. Its youth scholarship aims to change the lives of young people with diverse backgrounds and alter the future of our public lands.
We also partner with over 70 national parks to support their efforts to bring the park experience to youth. Here are some of our activities.
Junior Ranger Jamboree
WNPA has developed Junior Ranger Jamboree booklets for many of our partner parks. They are packed with activities that encourage children to explore their national parks and learn how to protect them.
“The (Junior Ranger) program is wonderful and it works. Kids are learning! Keep up the great work because it’s worth it!” —Junior Ranger Naomie’s mom, Melanie
Taking Kids Outdoors
We want everyone, especially youngsters, to have a great national park experience and discover fun, fitness, and relaxation, as well as learn new things about America. One example project was our financial support for Avery McElhone, a Big Thicket National Preserve intern, to get certified as a kayak instructor for a new Community Youth Paddling Program.
Parks in Focus®
As the official nonprofit partner of Parks in Focus, which connects underserved middle school youth to nature, WNPA covers food, supplies, cameras, exhibiting materials, new projects, and other essential program expenses.
As a nonprofit book publisher, WNPA has published several titles aimed at children. We make them and other books available at The National Park Store, in stores at partner park visitor centers, and online.