Shenandoah National Park Celebrates Kids to Parks Day

Shenandoah National Park will celebrate Kids to Parks Day on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Activities will take place at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6 Skyline Drive), Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51) and the Big Meadows Amphitheater (mile 51). A full day of events is planned to get visitors up close and personal with nature.

The theme for this year’s Kids to Parks Day is the amazing birds that live in and migrate through Shenandoah National Park. Most activities will take place between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at both visitor centers with a special evening program at the Big Meadows Amphitheater at 8:30 p.m. Visitors to Dickey Ridge Visitor Center will enjoy family-friendly activities and games, hear a ranger program about birds and be joined by members of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) who are helping park staff put on the event. Visitors to Big Meadows will have a chance to meet several live birds, participate in games, activities and ranger programs. They will be joined by staff from the Wildlife Center of Virginia along with some of their resident wildlife ambassadors.

The complete schedule for the event can be found on the SNP website. Kids to Parks Day is free and open to visitors of all ages. No reservations are needed. There is a $25-per-car entrance fee to Shenandoah National Park which is good for seven days or use a valid Annual or Lifetime Pass.

The National Park and Conservation Association’s mission is to “protect and enhance America’s National Park System for present and future generations.” By helping park staff put on Kids to Parks Day the NPCA is helping kids become the next generation of park stewards and advocates. More information about the NPCA can be found at www.npca.org.

Since 1982, the Wildlife Center of Virginia has treated more than 70,000 wild animals including birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, often on an emergency basis. They have shared the lessons learned from these cases with some 1.5 million school-children and adults across Virginia. They have trained a corps of wildlife medicine practitioners. More information about the Wildlife Center of Virginia, located in Waynesboro, Virginia, can be found at www.wildlifecenter.org.

Kids to Parks Day is a nationwide day of outdoor exploration and play, organized by the National Park Trust (NPT). The NPT is a land trust and environmental education nonprofit organization that is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. To learn more about Kids to Parks Day, go to www.kidstoparks.org. More information about the NPT can be found at www.parktrust.org.

Kids to Parks Day is a great opportunity to take advantage of the "Every Kid in a Park" initiative. Launched in September 2015, Every Kid in a Park provides the opportunity for every fourth grade student across the country to earn free admission for themselves and their family to any federal lands and waters that charge an entrance fee. Fourth grade students can log onto the Every Kid in a Park website where they complete an interactive activity. Once completed, the students can print out a paper voucher that can be used for free admission to experience federal lands and waters first hand through August 2017. Instructions and trip planning resources can be found at the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.org.