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Junior Rangers encouraged to “Find Your Park” at Hawai‘i Volcanoes as National Park Week begins

April 9, 2015
Junior rangers explore rainforest

Junior Rangers discover the rainforest in Hawaii Volcanoes NP/NPS Photo.

Fee-free weekend April 18-19 kicks off with Junior Ranger Day and International Day on Monuments and Sites

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park encourages keiki to connect with their national park and World Heritage Site by becoming a Junior Ranger on Sat., April 18 – Junior Ranger Day and International Day on Monuments and Sites.

The fee-free weekend and programs kick off National Park Week, April 18-26, 2015. This year’s theme, Find Your Park, celebrates the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park also celebrates is centennial in 2016.

A Junior Ranger station with handbooks and park information will be set up at Kīlauea Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jaggar Museum observation deck. Keiki who complete an interactive junior ranger handbook will earn a Junior Ranger badge, a Junior Ranger certificate, and will be sworn in as a National Park Junior Ranger.

Saturday is also International Monuments and Sites Day, which marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and was the first World Heritage Site in Hawai‘i. The state’s other World Heritage Site, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, was inscribed in 2010, and representatives from both sites will share information at the Junior Ranger station.

Bigeye soldierfish at French Frigate Shoals in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. by Greg McFall/NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Bigeye soldierfish mingle with pyramid butterflyfish at French Frigate Shoals in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a World Heritage Site, by Greg McFall/NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

“Our Junior Ranger programs are a perfect way for families to discover their World Heritage Site and national park together,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “As the park approaches its centennial anniversary in 2016, our most important goal is to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates. Every keiki who becomes a junior ranger helps ensure the future of their national parks, which serve as the model for heritage sites worldwide,” she said.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes is one of five national park units on the island of Hawai‘i. Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is also free of charge April 18 and 19. Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, and the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail do not charge entrance fees.

Junior rangers getting sworn in at Hawaii Volcanoes NP

Keiki become Junior Rangers in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park/NPS Photo

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