Adults In The United States Would Like To See National Park Field Trips And Educational Activities Expanded

Although we may look back on school and remember a lot of times fondly, some of our favorite times are likely surrounded by a field trip.

It doesn’t matter if it was a trip that only lasted a day or perhaps one that may have spanned the weekend, it is something that gave us an opportunity to get out and enjoy our local area.

It seems as if adults in the United States are now in favor of using national parks more for students. A public opinion survey was commissioned by the National Park Foundation, which worked along with Union Pacific Railroad.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In the results, they found that 85% of US adults felt that national parks would make a good classroom for children. 70% felt that the parks could help children to learn.

The National Park Service is no stranger to hosting educational programs. More than 1.8 million students have taken advantage of the over 400 parks throughout the 50 states since 2011. They are connected with the experiences found in those national parks, thanks to the support of Union Pacific and other partners.

Another interesting fact that was uncovered as a result of the survey is that 77% of adults in the United States would like to expand field trips to national parks. This would include various educational experiences and activities in the classroom, which could take place remotely.

Photo: flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A spokesman for the National Park Foundation had the following to say in a press release: “The findings indicate that an overwhelming majority of Americans see parks as places of learning and they support expanding programs that connect kids to educational experiences in national parks. Thanks to Union Pacific’s generous support, the National Park Foundation is helping to answer the call, making it possible for more students across the country to participate in ranger-led programs that bring subjects such as climate science and U.S. history to life through parks in their own backyards.”

Some other interesting details were also uncovered in the survey, including the following:

70% would like to send over 1 million children to national parks over the next four years.

Photo: flickr/Grand Canyon National Park

69% feel that it is important for children to connect with national parks so they understand history more thoroughly.

69% also feel that it is important for the programs to be expanded that would allow children who have never visited a national park to visit.

78% would be in support of various programs that would help to enhance the educational options for children through a virtual visit to the park and online programming.

Photo: flickr/National Park Service

The NPF is certainly behind what the adults in the survey had to say. They would like 1 million students to be connected with the national parks throughout the next four years. This would include using an existing program, known as Open outDoors for Kids, which is part of their youth education and engagement initiative.

Included in that initiative are New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and New Orleans Jazz Museum, which would partner for culturally responsive trips by students between the fourth and eighth grades.

There are also many other options open for children that can take advantage of the hundreds of parks in all 50 states. It certainly seems like a step in the right direction, not only for the benefit of the children but to ensure that the parks are used as intended.

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