|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||April 25, 2008|
|Contact:||Shane Farnor, National Parks Conservation Association, 206.293.3096 (cell) Kimm Fox-Middleton, National Park Service, 360.921.9559 (cell)|
Northwest National Parks Come to Vancouver
FREE community event brings national parks to local youth and families
Vancouver, Wash. - Portland-area families won't have to travel far this Saturday, April 26, to experience nine Northwest national parks. Instead, Northwest National Park Family Day will be held at nearby Fort Vancouver National Historic Site; at least 50 FREE day passes to Fort Vancouver, Mount Rainier, and Lewis & Clark national park sites will be given away to attendees.
The event, which coincides with Junior Ranger Day, National Park Week, and Children and Nature Awareness Month, will introduce Portland-Vancouver metro area residents to the wonders of nearby national parks.
"Fewer numbers of children are spending time outdoors, including visiting national parks that exist virtually in their backyard," said Shane Farnor, program and volunteer coordinator of the National Parks Conservation Association. "But national parks are our country's most powerful living classrooms, and we want to expose Northwest residents to these important places."
Families attending Northwest National Park Family Day on Saturday can meet national park rangers from Fort Vancouver, Lewis & Clark, Klondike Gold Rush, Mount Rainier, Lake Roosevelt, and North Cascades national parks, and potentially win one of 50 FREE day park passes. The rangers will give hands-on presentations about wildlife, culture, and history in the parks. Children will have a chance to try setting up a tent and making a fire, and will taste camp food, and learn about outdoor safety. A special workshop will teach children how to photograph the parks.
Author and National Park Service historian David Louter will also be signing his book, Windshield Wilderness, which explores how automobiles have influenced national parks and our cultural ideas about wilderness.
"We see Fort Vancouver as a gateway to the rest of the national parks in the Northwest," said Fort Vancouver National Park Ranger Kimm Fox-Middleton. "We hope that families attending Northwest National Park Family Day will walk away with a new appreciation for the immense history and beauty that can be found in our parks."
Northwest National Park Family Day is modeled after a similar event held each year in Fresno, California, designed to introduce thousands of residents to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon and other nearby national parks.