“Songs for Junior Rangers,” a new National Park Service CD, will have kids singing, dancing, and laughing as they learn fun facts about history and nature. The CD’s 20 tracks contain catchy lyrics about national parks designed to both entertain and educate children.

The songs cover a variety of subjects, including elk in “Wapiti Hoppity,”

caving in “Spelunka Funka,” glaciers in “Frozen Bulldozin’,” and Mount Rushmore in “Four Presidents.” Musical elements include hip hop, reggae, blues, jazz, rock, zydeco, funk, and even polka.

“These witty songs are a great way for children to discover the wonders of national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

“The official motto of the Junior Ranger Program is ‘Explore, Learn, and Protect’ national parks and I think this music will certainly inspire children to do just that.”

The CD is available from www.eParks.com. You can preview three of the songs – “Humps, Hooves, and Horns,” “La Gran Garza Azul,” and “Run Fish Run” – on YouTube. You can also watch the CD’s launch concert on October 20 at 2:00 p.m. CDT at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park or live streamed on the internet.

Park rangers from New Orleans Jazz and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument appear on the album as well as many talented New Orleans musicians, and youth such as Navajo singer/songwriter Krishel Augustine and the Youth Ambassador Program from New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. The album also features celebrity guests such as the a cappella group Committed, the Grammy nominated children’s group Trout Fishing in America, and PBS personality Aaron Nigel Smith.

“Songs for Junior Rangers” is a service-wide project of the National Park Service, funded by the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, and distributed by Eastern National, a non-profit cooperating association.

“Cultivating the next generation of park stewards is imperative to the vitality of our national park system,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.  “The National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program and this new album are great ways we can engage our country’s youth, instilling a love for the parks at a young age.”

Eastern National CEO George Minnucci said, “We are pleased to offer products like the new Junior Ranger CD which pique children’s interest and encourage them to visit America’s national parks.”

Image courtesy National Park Service

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