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May 29, 2012 > Company connects kids to nature while supporting parks

Company connects kids to nature while supporting parks

Submitted By Kate Dockins

Chipper for Parks is an educational and public awareness building initiative with a call to action for kids and their families to experience the outdoors. From playgrounds to state and national parks, families are invited to connect, celebrate, and conserve.

Since its inception in 1872, The United States National Parks System has grown from a single, public reservation called Yellow Stone National Park to embrace over 450 natural, historical, recreational, and cultural areas throughout the United States. Parks are the living, breathing monuments to our nation's history, culture, and landscape. The Park Rangers, charged with their protection, need community help as well, by way of visiting and volunteering and that's where Let's Go Chipper comes in.

Junior Park Ranger programs are a great way to inspire our young people to care for the park systems by appreciating their beauty and fun. A great first step on Chipper's path to the great outdoors is a playground experience, such as those supported by Let's Go Chipper's playground and park revitalizations and community- and classroom-based educational programs through the non-profit, Growing UP For Good. With volunteers, and as little as $500, a neighborhood playground can be re-opened, which in turn helps foster interpersonal relationships amongst kids while inspiring a more involved community. This kind of experience can inspire whole families to be conscientious explorers, leading to a state and national park hike or overnight camping trip, which connects families to the importance of conserving these facilities.

With many state parks on the closure lists and national parks losing necessary revenue to operate historical landmarks and programs, the Chipper for Parks program aims to promote a new generation of park enthusiasts while increasing funds for the parks. "Chipper's adventures not only playfully engage the learning process they excite action as children want to play, camp, explore, and help take care of each other and the environment," says creator Stephanie Rach-Wilson.

"How do you explain to a child that a park is closed?" The Chipper for Parks program empowers kids and families to make a difference by supporting their local playgrounds, state parks and national parks through involvement and the sale of Chipper for Parks embroidered badges (proceeds can be donated to their park of choice.) With each purchase of a Chipper For Parks badge, consumers receive a "Chipper Kit" filled with play-based ideas to help educate and connect in your schools and communities. Details can be found on the Chipper for Parks Facebook page.

Chipper for Parks reminds families to take advantage of the "Fee Free Days" at National Parks around the country. Participating park waivers may include entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Fee Free Days for the remainder of 2012 are:

June 9: Get Outdoors Day
September 29: National Public Lands Day
November 10-12: Veterans Day Weekend

Visit to learn more.

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