Western PA Parks offer new National Parks Centennial Junior Ranger Programs

SHANKSVILLE -?The National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of sharing America’s special places and helping Americans make meaningful connections to nature, history and culture.

According to the NPS, the 412 national parks are America’s best idea and we invite all Americans including their youngest visitors to celebrate these special places.

One way young visitors can learn about and explore their national parks is through the Junior Ranger Program.

Junior Rangers can earn a badge or patch by completing a booklet during their visit.

All five of the National Park sites in Western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Flight 93 National Memorial, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Friend-

ship Hill National Historic Site and Johnstown Flood National Memorial, have a Junior Ranger Program.

In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, the National Parks of Western Pennsylvania are offering two new free special additions to the regular Junior Ranger Programs:

n National Parks of Western Pennsylvania Junior Ranger Patch – Junior Rangers who complete all five of the National Parks of Western Pennsylvania Junior Ranger Programs before the end of 2016 will earn a special patch.

The patch is in the shape of Pennsylvania with the locations of the five parks noted and includes the NPS Centennial logo.

Junior Rangers can track their progress with a card issued on site and available on the park website. They can also bring all of their completed booklets and/or badges to any of the five National Parks of Western Pennsylvania to receive their patch.

n NPS Centennial Junior Ranger Badge -?Junior Rangers can also take the challenge of the National Centennial Junior Program.

After completing the activities in a special booklet, Junior Rangers will earn a wooden NPS Centennial Junior Ranger badge available this year only. The National Junior Ranger booklet can be completed at home or at any national park across the United States.

Once completed, Junior Rangers can take the booklet to any national park or mail the booklet to an address noted inside the booklet to receive their badge.

The Junior Ranger Program helps to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates.