The Carroll Homestead is among the many park sites to which fourth-grade field trips will be taken this fall. Special funds to pay transportation costs are available thanks to National Park Service Centennial funding and Friends of Acadia. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Acadia fun for fourth-graders



BAR HARBOR — The National Park Service (NPS) invites teachers to bring their fourth-grade classes to ranger-led educational field trips in Acadia National Park from Sept. 12 to 16. Teachers can learn more about the programs and register for field trips at www.nps.gov/acad/learn.

NPS Centennial funding and support from Friends of Acadia will allow additional fourth-grade field trips this fall, including sailing a four­masted schooner on Frenchman Bay and learning about historic waterways; traveling by boat to a historic homestead and lighthouse on Baker Island; discovering the lesser­known side of the park with a boat ride to the Schoodic Peninsula; cruising to the Cranberry Isles to learn about island life at the Islesford Museum; exploring the geology on and around at Sand Beach; or visiting the historic Carroll Homestead for a glimpse into the life of children in the 1850s.

Programs are open to any public school, but priority will be given to fourth-grade classes that have never visited Acadia. Space is limited and given on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is encouraged. Transportation assistance is available to cover either bus costs or ferry costs.

“Over 800 Maine fourth graders participated in this program in June 2016,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “Some kids saw the ocean for the first time, while others took their first boat ride around Acadia National Park. We want all kids to have meaningful experiences in our national parks so they know these special places are preserved for them and all Americans.”

Every fourth grader has the opportunity to become an Acadia Centennial junior ranger even if they are not attending a field trip to the park. Students may download, print and complete a workbook in the classroom at www.nps.gov/acad/learn. Teachers can then send an email to [email protected] with a list of students completing the workbook and a photo of the group to receive Acadia Centennial junior ranger prizes.

The “Acadia 100 Challenge” is another chance for students to learn about the park and celebrate its centennial by creating a class project about Acadia that fits the theme of “100.” Participants may register at www.acadiacentennial2016.org/our-events and submit the projects to earn a free centennial item and become eligible to receive a free trip to Acadia for their entire class.

Another great opportunity to enjoy the park this centennial year is the “Every Kid in a Park” free entry pass. Visit www.everykidinapark.gov to register and print a paper form to be redeemed for a free entrance pass at Acadia and other public lands. Entrance passes will be available beginning Sept. 1 for kids entering fourth grade and are valid for free entry for the whole family traveling in the vehicle with the child through Aug. 31, 2017.

With program questions, contact Acadia National Park at [email protected], 288-8822 or 288-8823.

Visit www.acadiacentennial2016.org.

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