California's National Parks Come to Fresno

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 7, 2007
Contact:   Lindsay Buhles, NPCA: 650-269-2911


California's National Parks Come to Fresno

FREE community event brings national parks to local youth and families

Fresno, CA- Fresno families need not travel far this Saturday, June 9, to explore Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, when National Parks Family Day arrives in Fresno’s Roeding Park. This annual event introduces the wonders of nearby national parks to Fresno’s diverse community, particularly its youth; 200 FREE day passes to Yosemite will be given away to attendees.

“We know that fewer numbers of children are spending time outdoors, including visiting national parks that exist virtually in their backyard,” said Laura Whitehouse, Central Valley program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. “But national parks are our country’s most powerful living classrooms, and we want to expose greater numbers of Fresno residents to these majestic places.”

Fresno residents attending National Parks Family Day on Saturday can meet national park rangers and learn about wildlife, cleaner air, culture, and history in the parks. They can also enjoy live cultural performances and a rock climbing wall, which introduces families to just one of the many recreational opportunities found in nearby parks. Event organizers are also giving away 200 FREE day passes to Yosemite for the first 200 attendees.

June is Great Outdoors Month, and many national parks are offering special activities for children, including the National Park Service’s popular Junior Ranger program. “What we want to help children realize is that there is just as much adventure in nature as there is online or in video games,” said Yosemite National Park Ranger Adrienne Freeman.

In addition to being educational vehicles, national parks are also economic engines for the region. In 2005, visitors to Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks spent more than $405 million in local communities and helped support 9,732 jobs. “Our national parks drive the local economy; businesses in our local cities and foothills depend on dollars generated by families visiting these icons,“ said John Hernandez, president of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

The National Parks Conservation Association and Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CCHCC) established National Parks Family Day in 2004 to introduce the community of Fresno to nearby national parks. The National Park Service, Yosemite Association and Delaware North Companies, Inc., are also event partners. This year’s sponsors include Pacific Gas & Electric, Univision Television, Univision Radio, AAA, Prudential Financial, and Aetna.

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