IMA Hero™ Logo
Home
The Collection
Who's Your Hero?
About Us
Online Store
Who's Your Hero?
Feature Bear
Feature Bear
 
 

National Parks (True Books) National Parks (True Books)

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. What was the first National Park?
Yellowstone National Park. It was established on March 1, 1872. Did you know it is also the first and oldest national park in the world?

Yellowstone National Park is located in the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Yellowstone has many natural wonders, like geysers, bottomless pools, and unusual natural formations. It has a variety of wildlife, snowcapped mountains, dense green forests, crystal-clear lakes, and streams of fish.

Geysers are steaming natural fountains that squirt huge columns of water high in the air. One of the most famous geysers at Yellowstone is called Old Faithful.

Yellowstone's bottomless pools are colored like rainbows. This color is caused by bacteria and algae. It has "mud pots" that bubble, burp, and smell like rotten eggs.

One of the unusual natural formations found at Yellowstone is called Minerva Terrace.

Yellowstone's wildlife includes bison, elk, pronghorn, grizzlies, and gigantic moose.

Did you know the entrance to Yellowstone includes words from the Yellowstone Park Act? The engraved entrance states, "FOR THE BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE".

Top of Page

2. What was the Yellowstone Park Act?
It created Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone Park Act stated Yellowstone was "reserved and withdrawn from settlement, and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people."

Centuries ago, in Europe, the first "nature parks" were created and protected. They had trees, lakes, grassy meadows, and lots of wildlife. However, these parks were owned by the king and other royalty, and they were not open to the public.

In 1870, in the United States, the Northern Pacific Railroad Company sent a party led by Henry Washburn to explore the Yellowstone region for six weeks. This party returned with stories of Yellowstone's beauty and wonders.

In 1871, Ferdinand V. Hayden, William Henry Jackson, and Thomas Moran also explored the Yellowstone region. Hayden was a scientist, Jackson was a photographer, and Moran was an artist. Months after this exploration, members of the U.S. Congress read Hayden's work and saw Jackson's photographs and Moran's paintings. This led to the Yellowstone Park Act in 1872, to protect the beauty of the Yellowstone region.

On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established.

Today, there are about 1,200 national parks in more than 100 countries. In North America, most nature parks are owned by local, state, or federal governments. National parks are owned by federal governments or nations. The nature parks are open to the public. The animals are protected, and visitors can walk, run, picnic, camp, swim, and play.

Top of Page

3. True or False: John Muir is known as "the Father of the National Park System."
True. In 1869, John Muir explored and hiked in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. These mountains are located in central California.

He fell in love with the Yosemite River and Yosemite Valley. He was amazed by the tall rock cliffs and thundering waterfalls. He saw bears, deer, and other wild animals.

Muir worked to protect Yosemite as a national park from the encroaching ranching, logging, and mining. He wrote books and magazine stories about the beauty and wonders of Yosemite. He described Yosemite Valley as a place where "nature had gathered her choicest treasures."

On October 1, 1890, Yosemite National Park was created. Some of the spectacular sites are Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Glacier Point, Tunnel View, Tuolomne Meadows, and Tenaya Lake.

John Muir continued to protect wilderness areas. He worked with his friend and President, Theodore Roosevelt, to create other national parks. Today, John Muir is remembered as one of America's most famous nature writers and "the Father of the National Park System."

Top of Page

4. What is the difference between a national park and national monument?
National parks are created by the U.S. Congress to preserve a combination of features including scenery, wildlife, and historical sites. National monuments protect a monument which has been created by the U.S. President.

Grand Canyon National Park is a good example to show the difference between a park and a monument. In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created a national monument around the Grand Canyon to protect it. In 1919, Congress expanded the monument to a park.

In 2000, there were 54 national parks and 73 national monuments in the United States. Examples of National Parks are the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, Haleakala in Hawaii, and the Everglades in Florida. Whereas, the Statue of Liberty is a National Monument.

Did you know parks protected under the National Park Service can also be classified as a memorial, battlefield, historic site, seashore, river, preserve, scenic trail and more? For example, the Martin Luther King, Jr., site in Georgia is a National Historic Site, the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania is a National Military Park, Cape Hatteras in North Carolina is a National Seashore, and the Rio Grand in Texas is a Wild and Scenic River.

Top of Page

5. Name ONE of the National Parks or units within the National Park Service.
Answers may vary. Here are some National Parks mentioned in the book:

Alaska: Denali National Park and Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park and Petrified Forest National Park

Arkansas: Hot Springs National Park

California: Channel Islands National Park, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Presidio National Historic Landmark, Redwood National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Yosemite National Park

Colorado: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park

Florida: Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Everglades National Park

Georgia: Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site

Hawaii: Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Kentucky: Mammoth Cave National Park

Maine: Acadia National Park

Michigan: Isle Royale National Park

Minnesota: Voyageurs National Park

Montana: Glacier National Park

Nevada: Great Basin National Park

New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

North Carolina: Cape Hatteras National Seashore

North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Oregon: Crater Lake National Park

Pennsylvania: Gettysburg National Military Park and Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial

South Dakota: Badlands National Park and Wind Cave National Park

Tennessee: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Texas: Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River

Utah: Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Zion National Park

Virginia: Shenandoah National Park

Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands National Park

Washington: Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park

Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park

In 2000, the National Park Service included 378 parks, monuments, and other places located in forty-nine states (all except Delaware), Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. Together, these parks preserve 80.7 million acres (32.7 million hectares) of land. An average of 270 million people visit the national parks each year.

A big problem facing the national parks are cars because they cause traffic jams, make noise, pollute the air, kill wildlife, and frustrate visitors. Some parks require visitors to park their cars and tour the park on foot, bicycle, or public transportation. These parks include Yosemite in California and Denali in Alaska.

Top of Page

What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Bison: Also called buffalo; large, shaggy, wild member of the cattle family

Plains: Flat grasslands

Preserve: To save and keep unchanged

Pronghorn: Wild, goat-like animal of the western prairies

Species: A specific kind of plant or animal

Wilderness: Area of undeveloped land where nature is left unchanged

Top of Page

Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a.
Describe ONE of the following people:
George Catlin: An explorer and painter of scenes of the Western wilderness. In 1832, Catlin sat on the banks of the Missouri River in present-day South Dakota looking at the rolling grasslands. There were herds of bison, pronghorn, deer, and other wild animals. He wrote in his diary, "What a beautiful and thrilling specimen for America to preserve and hold up to the view of her refined citizens and the world for future ages! A nation's Park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature's beauty." In 1978, the area described by Catlin became Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

John Colter: A fur trapper who explored the area surrounding the Yellowstone River in the Rocky Mountains. He returned with exciting stories about the country.

Osborne Russell: A fur trapper who explored the area surrounding the Yellowstone River in the Rocky Mountains. He returned with exciting stories about the country.

Henry Washburn: An explorer who explored the Yellowstone region for six weeks in 1870. He was the leader of a group sent to explore the Yellowstone region by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.

Ferdinand V. Hayden: A scientist who explored the Yellowstone region in 1871. He went with William Henry Jackson, a photographer, and Thomas Moran, an artist. He wrote about the wonders and beauty of the Yellowstone area, and he believed it should be protected as a national park. Months after his exploration, members of the U.S. Congress read Hayden's work and saw Jackson's photographs and Moran's paintings. This led to the 1872 Yellowstone Park Act which established Yellowstone National Park.

William Henry Jackson: A photographer who explored the Yellowstone region in 1871. He went with Ferdinand V. Hayden, a scientist, and Thomas Moran, an artist. He took photographs of the wonders and beauty of the Yellowstone area. Months after his exploration, members of the U.S. Congress read Hayden's work and saw Jackson's photographs and Moran's paintings. This led to the 1872 Yellowstone Park Act which established Yellowstone National Park.

Thomas Moran: An artist who explored the Yellowstone region in 1871. He went with Ferdinand V. Hayden, a scientist, and William Henry Jackson, a photographer. He made paintings of the wonders and beauty of the Yellowstone area. Months after his exploration, members of the U.S. Congress read Hayden's work and saw Jackson's photographs and Moran's paintings. This led to the 1872 Yellowstone Park Act which established Yellowstone National Park.

Top of Page

b. What is the biggest National Park, and what is the smallest unit of the National Park Service?
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is the biggest, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial is the smallest.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is located in Alaska. It preserves 13.2 million acres (5.2 million hectares) of wilderness and many species of wildlife. In the park-preserve, the Chugach, Wrangell, and St. Elias mountain ranges converge. It is referred to as the "mountain kingdom of North America." It includes Mount St. Elias, the second highest peak in the United States. Mount St. Elias is 18,008 feet high. Did you know Denali (or Mount McKinley) is the highest peak in North America? It is 20,320 feet (6,190 meters) high. On December 1, 1978, Wrangell-St. Elias was proclaimed a national monument. On October 24, 1979, it was designated a World Heritage Site. On December 2, 1980, it was established as a national park and preserve.

Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial is located at 301 Pine Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It covers .02 acres which is about the size of a school playground. It was authorized on October 21, 1972, to commemorate the life and work of Thaddeus Kosciuszko. He was a Polish-born patriot and hero of the American Revolution.

Top of Page

c. Who are Park Rangers?
Employees of the National Park Service who work at the National Parks.

Park rangers are very important people. They are also known as "interpreters." They lead visitors on nature hikes, give campfire talks, enforce park rules, and help visitors have a safe and fun time.

Top of Page

d. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers may vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
I drew a picture of bison for my mom.

My friends and I like to play in the plains.

It is a good idea to preserve our national parks.

Pronghorn are like goats.

I am learning about species in science.

The wilderness of Alaska is beautiful.

Top of Page

e. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

Top of Page

More Valuable Information about National Parks:
National Park Service (NPS)
National Park Foundation
The RangerZONE: A Guide to Junior Ranger Program (NPS)
Yellowstone National Park (NPS)
Yosemite National Park (NPS)
Yosemite Online (Yosemite Association)

Top of Page

 

 

Join the Hero Clubhouse™   Join the Reading Program

Happy Learning!

Send Your Questions or Comments to info@imahero.com


 

 

 

Home | Collection | Who's Your Hero? | About Us | Privacy | Site Map | Online Store

©1999-2003 StarRise Creations. All rights reserved. The IMA Hero logo
and the IMA Hero bears are trademarks of StarRise Creations.