Junior Ranger Park Explorer program returns to Richland!

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Junior Ranger Park Explorer program is back for another summer in the Tri-Cities. The events are free, with no registration needed. The program teaches kids to explore Richland’s nature and history at different neighborhood parks.

Becky Burghart, the Hanford Site Manager for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, said it’s, “a great way to learn about the history of the area, not only the natural history. We have the amazing Columbia River right here. But also the human history. The Manhattan Project was a world changing event. And that happened right here in our backyard.”

Manhattan Project National Historical Park rangers and REACH Museum educators partnered this year to educate families who attend.

“There’s these wonderful green spaces that kids can come out and look at the trees, and the birds and the other wildlife around it, so it’s a great way to get kids and families out for the summer,” said Burghart.

“It’s a nice family event to attend. And the Rangers are always incredibly knowledgeable,” said Kimberly Giller, a parent at the Howard Amon Park event.

Families and children of all ages can drop in to these two-hour long sessions at any point to take part in the activities.

Giller has attended several of the national Junior Ranger Park Explorer programs, but this was her and her daughter’s first time attending the local one.

“We surprisingly haven’t done the local one yet,” Giller said, “So, we wanted to earn the Manhattan National Park badge.”

By attending two out of the three programs during the summer and completing the activities, the children can receive a special junior ranger patch or pin.

Program information:

June 29, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Howard Amon Park
“The tall, mature trees at Howard Amon Park were planted long ago to beautify the city. Learn to identify trees in the park and investigate their connections to people and urban wildlife.”

July 19, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Claybell Park
“Claybell Park is a gateway to the Amon Creek Natural Preserve, where animals such as beavers leave their mark on the landscape. Learn how to spot the signs of this and other animals that are a part of our local environment.”

August 18, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Goethals Park
“Use a scavenger hunt to find connections to science while playing and exploring at this unique park.”

Each set of activities is different, based on the locations of the three park sites.

The National Park Service’s app can show you more Junior Ranger Park Explorer program events.

READ: Kids can become Junior Park Rangers for the day in the Tri-Cities this weekend