I can’t think of a better day to visit a national park than August 25 as this day marks the National Park Service’s 105th birthday. Parks across the country will be hosting both in-park programs and virtual adventures. Parks offer extraordinary experiences, but it’s not always possible to make a visit in person. Fortunately, there are ways to connect virtually. Let’s explore a few.
Check in on your favorite parks through webcams. The National Park Service has a list of parks with webcams, and you can see current conditions and sometimes even local resident wildlife. Some of the more popular webcams include Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Many of these have several different cameras so you can see various parts of the park.
You can also take a virtual tour of one of the parks. With a virtual tour, you can get up close and personal. You can learn more about the history of these legendary parks and how their protection and preservation are essential to ensuring these sites are enjoyed for generations to come. Check the Virtual Events Calendar for some of the upcoming live events, talks, and tours.
The National Park Service also has an extensive multimedia gallery for you to take advantage of. You can view photos, videos and even listen to podcasts. Many of the parks offer weekly bite-sized history podcasts related to the history of the park. You can even listen to the wolves howling at the Yellowstone’s Audio Postcards series.
If you want to explore more digital artifacts, then you’ll want to check out the photo gallery. Not only will you find digital archives there, but you can also explore featured collections and trending images.
The National Park Service has partnered with the National Park Foundation to challenge your students to test their knowledge or learn a little more about parks with their series of games and activities. Your students could also consider becoming an Online Junior Ranger through its Kids in the Park portal and even earn virtual Junior Ranger badges.
If you’re looking for even more resources, you can find lesson plans and other educational materials in the Educator Portal for students of all educational levels. There are many online, as well as outdoor, activity suggestions for students.
Be sure to celebrate the National Park Service’s 105th birthday by exploring these resources and having a virtual adventure. Also, be sure to check out these other awesome virtual field trips that your students can explore all year long.