Songs, and stories read aloud, can lend an aural dimension to the history of the United States. A new compact disc released by the National Park Service brings some lessons about national parks and natural resources in the parks home to children.
Songs for Junior Rangers features 20 fun tunes about national parks and both wildlife and geologic features found within the National Park System. 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 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.