National Parks are popular with kids, it’s true. Heck! We all love them! This year, as many know, it’s the 100th Birthday of the National Park Service, so folks will be headed to our public lands for a multitude of reasons, this among them. One reason we flock to the parks is their ever-popular Junior Ranger programs. Now, kids and parents alike can get excited about a new badge in town!
Want to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in a, er, mammoth way? The new site, Waco Mammoth National Monument, is sure to be a hit with kids big and small, as most prehistoric topics are! This site should rise to the top of your list of places to visit in 2016 since it has a shiny new Junior Ranger badge for kids to earn! The Junior Ranger program is popular with vacationing families as well as the homeschooling and roadschooling crowd for good reason – education with hands-on fun that ends in a tangible, collectible souvenir! Read on to discover more about the site and the badge.
New Junior Ranger Badge? Yes! Please!
In 2015, President Barack Obama declared the Waco Mammoth Site a new unit of the National Park System. This National Monument in Texas, a paleontological site, is the locations of the countries’ only recorded discovery of a “nursery herd” of Columbian mammoths. The displays and fossils that can be viewed are of animals that would have lived approximately 67,000 years ago.
These mammoths were larger in size than their distant relatives, the more widely known woolly mammoth. The new ranger badge reportedly has a mammoth icon represented upon it. Pretty neat if you ask us! Definitely a great reason to swing through the area if you’re planning on a Texas spring break! The new activities and badge will be debuting March 19th, according to the National Park Service.
Tip: National Park passes do not apply to guided tour fees. Access to the “Dig Shelter” is by guided tour only, so there is a fee of $5 per adult and $3-$4 per child or special visitor (military, senior, etc.) The largest city near the somewhat rural monument is Waco, TX, just south of DFW.