A new initiative at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to engage teens, the future caretakers of our national parks. Interested teens can pick up their hiking contest log sheet at the visitor center front desk starting June 7.
Woodland Park, CO -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/30/2014 -- The National Park Service, the Coalition of the Upper South Platte, and the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds are challenging teens to hike all 14 miles of trails at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
“The purpose of the ‘Trails 4 Teens’ program is to help connect youth to Florissant Fossil Beds through fun, engaging experiences on the parks 14 miles of trails,” said Ranger Jeff Wolin.
“Through working and playing on the trails the teens will be able to understand and appreciate Florissant Fossil Beds and our national parks and be moved to become the next stewards of our country's great treasures,” Wolin said.
The requirements to participate in the Trails 4 Teens program are:
-Participants must be 13 - 19 years old.
-Be able to come to the Monument during work hours between June 7 and September 28.
Wolin believes in the benefits for those teens who join this new program. “The benefits for teens would be a chance to be with friends in a new place, a challenge that they can overcome and become healthier while they do it,” he said. “It is also a chance to learn about a new career and new opportunities.”
“Our national parks belong to all of us,” Wolin said. “Many adults realize this and take advantage of visiting parks, but teens are an underserved audience.”
“They represent the future caretakers of our national parks. National parks provide a place for teens to socialize with friends in a safe and healthy atmosphere and can provide challenges that engage teens such as hiking and other outdoor activities” Wolin said.
Prizes and a recognition ceremony are planned at the end of the program. “All participants that complete the challenge will receive a t-shirt and be entered to win prizes,” Wolin said. “We will have a recognition ceremony on National Public Lands Day which is September 28, 2014.”
Anyone 15 or younger is free to participate. Any participant 16 or older is $3.00 per person unless an adult with a pass accompanies them.
About Trails 4 Teens Program
A new initiative at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to engage teens. The Summer 2014 is a hiking challenge for teens. Other themes are planned for 2015 and beyond. The hiking contest is part of a grant that was awarded to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, the Coalition of the Upper South Platte and the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds from the National Park Foundation and is part of a program called Active Trails.
About the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Florissant Fossil Beds (http://www.nps.gov/flfo) is a great place to visit any time of year, although most visitation takes place late spring through early fall. We recommend all new visitors begin their adventure at the Visitor Center. There you can receive orientation information at the information desk and see the "Shadows of the Past" orientation film. In the visitor center you can explore exhibits and the bookstore.
DIRECTIONS: Visitors traveling north/south on I-25: Exit at US 24 West, travel 35 miles to town of Florissant, then follow signs two miles south to the visitor center on Teller County 1. Visitors traveling east/west on US 24: Exit to the town of Florissant, then follow signs two miles south on Teller County 1 to the visitor center. Visitors traveling from the town of Cripple Creek: Follow Teller County Road 1 north for 16 miles.
About the Coalition of the Upper South Platte
Since 1998 the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) has worked to protect the 2,600-square-mile watershed that reaches from the Continental Divide to Strontia Springs Reservoir, southwest of Denver. The watershed is a recreational mecca with over 1.6 million acres of public lands; it provides municipal water for about three quarters of Colorado’s residents; it is renowned for its "gold-medal" fishing streams; and it is home to numerous threatened and endangered species. Find more at: http://www.uppersouthplatte.org.
About the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds
The Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to assisting the National Park Service in preserving, protecting, and interpreting the natural and historical resources of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. The Friends’ primary mission is to raise funds and provide assistance to projects that preserve the fossils of Florissant, as well as to organize and promote programs and activities that support the Monument’s educational, conservation, and scientific research objectives. Learn more at: http://www.fossilbeds.org.