One of the many great things about independent schools is that we can teach students citizenship and values such as stewardship of the land, and how to be a change-maker. Friday April 22 was Earth Day and those two values came together at our Friday assembly when students in the lower school announced how they work to take care of the earth.
These values also came together in a project undertaken by the first grade Owls. Two Owls, Sloane and Arlo, wrote letters to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy expressing their concern for wildlife habitat. Arlo worries about the Snowy Plover and Sloane about the San Joaquin Fox, two of the many birds and mammals protected in the park.
Jennifer Greene Ringgold, the Associate Director of the Community Engagement Program at Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy wrote back to Arlo and Sloane and also to me. I share her letters here with the permission of Arlo and Sloane’s parents.
A hundred years ago, President Wilson created the National Park Service to manage 35 parks and monuments, and today the U.S. boasts over 400 national parks and monuments, including our local national park. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area protects 80,002 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service every fourth grader in America can get an Every Kid in a Park pass at www.everykidinapark.gov. This pass provides free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and more!
The Every Kid in a Park pass is good until August 31, 2016. If you are looking for something to do this summer, consider taking your child to a National Park. Our students often sing the Woody Guthrie ballad, “This Land is Your Land” and it is important to remind ourselves that the natural world around us is ours to enjoy and ours to protect.
Finally, on Saturday, May 7 on the same day as our annual Country Fair party, many of us will celebrate the Junior Ranger Jamboree at Crissy Field from noon to 3 pm (see flier attached). This event honors the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with many activities for children of all ages.
At CDS, we encourage all members of our community to value ecological stewardship and develop a love of the natural world. It’s great to see our students taking these lessons to heart and making change in the world.