National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar unveiled a new book designed to make national parks more meaningful to young visitors. More than 100 enthusiastic students from John Eaton Elementary School in Washington, DC joined Bomar, U.S. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and other dignitaries at the launch party for Kids Passport to Your National Parks Companion.
“Kids Passport to Your National Parks Companion is an
owner’s manual to national parks for children between the ages of 6 and 12, a crucial time
for children to develop a connection to history and the natural world,” said Bomar. “This
new book will make their park visits more engaging and fun.”
The book provides background
information on the country’s 391 National Park Service sites and encourages children to use
all of their senses to explore parks. There is plenty of space to record observations,
sketch plants and animals, list accomplishments, track visits, and even collect park ranger
“There is a growing concern that children are becoming increasingly
disconnected from the natural world and I applaud Senator Burr for conceiving of this book
as a way to improve the quality and quantity of park visits for children,” said Bomar.
Bomar also praised National Park Service employees Lindi Harvey, Wendy Davis, and Diane
Chalfont for working collaboratively with Eastern National to develop the book. Eastern
National is a National Park Service cooperating association that operates 245 bookstores
and museum shops at 150 national parks and public sites.
The book is meant to supplement,
not replace, the extremely popular Passport to Your National Parks, which allows
visitors to collect cancellation stamps at most National Park Service sites.
The new book
goes on sale just in time for the holidays, and has an MSRP of $5.95. It will be sold at
national park bookstores and can also be ordered from the online NPS Bookstore.