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Park invites youths to junior ranger day

Children of all ages are invited to bring their favorite adult and come to the National Junior Ranger Day celebration anytime between 10 a.m.-

2 p.m., April 25 at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, 3002 Mount Angeles Road in Port Angeles.

Activities are scheduled throughout the day, including a special opportunity between 11 a.m.-noon to meet several of the park's pack mules. Visitors arriving during that hour can meet the mules and learn more about their important role in maintaining Olympic's 600-plus miles of wilderness trails.

Junior Rangers also have the opportunity to work with park botanists, repotting native plants that have been grown in the park's greenhouse. Each year, park staff uses thousands of native plants to restore damaged areas within the park.

Junior Rangers who participate in this activity will have the chance to bring a native plant home.

In addition, there are four 40-minute ranger-guided walks at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Microscopes are available for in-depth views of insects and plants, the Children's Discovery Room is open for play and exploration, and the park's award-winning film has a special viewing during the day.

"This will be a fun-filled day for kids and adults and a great way to celebrate National Park Week while learning more about Olympic National Park," said park Superintendent Karen Gustin. "We invite young people to bring their favorite adult on April 25 and enjoy becoming a Junior Ranger."

An adult must accompany children; all activities are designed to be fun and enjoyable for adults, too.

Olympic's Junior Ranger program is a year-round way for children and families to experience and enjoy the park. Children complete Junior Ranger activity booklets, attend a ranger program and explore park nature trails to earn a Junior Ranger badge and certificate.

For more information, call 565-3146.

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