Ticket to Ride brings Poplar Bluff youth to Riverways
Ozark National Scenic Riverways Selected to Participate in Program’s Inaugural Year
Van Buren, MO – With children spending less time being active outdoors and school and youth program budgets for field trips shrinking, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, is stepping up to help.The National Park Foundation’s newest program “Ticket To Ride” will provide Ozark National Scenic Riverways, along with several other parks across the country, the much needed funds to make a national park field trip for local youth possible. Overall, the initial grant of $117,000 will make it possible for young people nationwide to experience America’s national parks during this year.
“We are dedicated to giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy and support these special places – especially our young people,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “’Ticket to Ride’ makes it possible for us to engage the younger generation in a life changing experience, while simultaneously developing future park stewards who will support these treasured places for years to come.”
Youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Poplar Bluff, Missouri will have the opportunity to visit and experience their closest National Park, Ozark National Scenic Riverways during the “It’s My Park: Summer Junior Ranger Adventure”. Buses will transport the club children Wednesdays through Fridays for eight weeks to various locations throughout the park. These young people will explore the underground world of Round Spring Cave, learn about Ozark Life Long Long Ago, investigate Wet and Wild Water, discover the hardships of Working the Big Timber, hike park trails, create nature works of art, discover what owls eat, test their detective skills during Big Spring CSI, and explore career opportunities with the National Park Service. “These young people will gain an understanding and appreciation of the Ozark natural and cultural resources which can convey relevance and be shared with their family and friends,” stated Acting Superintendent Bill Black.
In creating the program, the National Park Foundation recognized that one of the greatest barriers preventing our youth from experiencing the national parks around them is transportation. The goal of the “Ticket to Ride” program is to provide efficient transportation support for young people to visit our national parks. This goal is shared with the National Park Service as the National Park Foundation strives to provide vital transportation to at least 100,000 youth per year.
Dedicated to giving our young people a “Ticket to Ride,” the National Park Foundation is ensuring youth do not miss the opportunity to directly experience America’s national parks. Once in the parks, a world of learning begins as young people discover their natural, cultural and historical heritage, participate in learning activities, enjoy recreational opportunities and most importantly, begin a lifelong relationship with their national parks.
For more information about the “Ticket to Ride” program and ways to support this and the other exceptional National Park Foundation programs, go to www.nationalparks.org.
For more information about Ozark National Scenic Riverways, phone (573) 323-4236 Monday through Friday during business hours or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/ozar. Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding natural resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.