Grant available for national park field trips

Grant available for national park field trips

MUNISING — It’s very rare to find a kid who doesn’t like field trips, but sometimes it’s hard for schools to take kids on a day out because of the cost involved. Well thanks to a new grant program, one organization is making the possibility a little easier.

It’s one thing to see the Upper Peninsula’s natural beauty in books or in pictures, but it’s another thing entirely to it up close.

It may be freezing now, but by the time the season changes in May, local parks are hoping to host numerous field trips for local students. That is thanks to a grant from the National Park Foundation.

Inter-agency Education Specialist Melissa O’Donnell says, “We were one of 186 federal sites that received this grant. So it’ll enable the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, along with Hiawatha National Forest and Clear Lake Education Center to provide field trips for fourth graders to come out to their public lands in May.”

O’Donnell says that these fields trips are an important experience for children. She says visiting national parks allows them to learn local history and the culture of their community.

‘Those places become fundamental in our childhood experiences and they sort of give us the stage of how we view our natural world,” O’Donnell added, “and become the next generation of stewards for these lands. So to have those experiences, to have repeat experiences and to be intimately familiar with those places is really important to create good stewards.”

To request or submit a grant application for your class, contact Melissa O’Donnell at melissa_o’donnell@nps.gov