A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Junior Rangers Like to Move it, Move it: National Parks Reward Physical Activity
WASHINGTON – “Let's Move Outside, Junior Rangers!” is First Lady Michelle Obama's call to kids across the country. Today, 16 national parks – for a total of 36 nationwide – launch Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger. National Park Junior Rangers will not only have fun and get exercise but also receive an extra reward for working up a sweat. So far this summer, thousands of kids have earned the title while discovering that exercise doesn't equal drudgery.
Young people who complete a physical activity in pursuit of their Junior Ranger badge receive a sticker that designates them as a Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger. The activities range from adventures like snorkeling or kayaking at Assateague National Seashore and hiking and camping at Colorado National Monument to swimming at Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and canoeing in a 26-foot Norse canoe at Voyageurs National Park.
“The Let's Move Outside program in our national parks provides a wonderful way for parents to help their children gain a passion for outdoor recreation while teaching them about our nation's beautiful lands, our rich cultural heritage and our storied past,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
The program engages young people in educational programs and self-guided exploration on America's public lands and waters. The activities promise to be fun, healthy and family friendly.
“Young people inspire us; we want to help them be vigorous and curious for life. It starts with family fun. National parks are amazing places where exercise is disguised as adventure, and we sneak in some learning too,” National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said.
By summer's end, 50 national parks will offer Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger. Before heading out, visit www.letsmove.gov/letsmoveoutside.php for more information about activities and participating parks. This website hub will link families to the great outdoors and give tips and ideas on how to best plan and enjoy an active visit.
Throughout the summer, Let's Move Outside programs and events will be held in conjunction with schools, community groups, and other partners.
Let's Move Outside, led by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, provides tools and information to parents to make it easy to enjoy the outdoors and be active. It is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's nationwide campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.
Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger parks launched in June 2010 Canaveral National Seashore, Florida; Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio; Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska; Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa; Fire Island National Seashore, New York; Fort Dupont Park, Washington, DC; Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado; Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina; Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana; Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota; Mount Rainier National Park, Washington; New River Gorge National River, West Virginia; Prince William Forest Park, Virginia; Redwood National and State Parks, California; Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC; Shenandoah National Park, Virginia; Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho