Kids in Parks is a program that will encourage more opportunities for children to visit our TN State Parks and explore the outdoors. Kids in Parks will provide funding and support to send children of all ages from schools, after school programs, childcare settings and summer camps that are underserved and likely have a barrier to access a TN State Park through our Field Trip and Junior Ranger programs.
Based on a successful program by the National Park Foundation, which supports the National Park Service, the TSPC Field Trip Program gives children from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to get out of the classroom and learn about wildlife, the environment and Tennessee history through an immersive, hands-on experience opportunity at a Tennessee State Park. We invite educators that work with K-12 students to take a field trip to visit one of the 56 state parks across Tennessee (Fun fact: there is one within an hour of every Tennessee student!).
Whether students are learning about science, English, art, history or a variety of other subjects, Tennessee State Parks provide a unique opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. Field trips include an immersive activity and program that are tied to a specific lesson. Often these programs include hiking coupled with plant and wildlife education as well as education about conservation and the “leave no trace” philosophy. One of the core values that we include in all of our programs is the value and benefit of being in nature while teaching children to be the next great stewards of our state parks and natural areas.
If interested in a Field Trip, please complete this application.
This program offers children a summer camp experience that provides opportunities for exploring and learning about the natural world through an array of fun and creative activities at a state park. Sponsorships allow students to attend who might not otherwise be able to due to financial restrictions.
Virtual Junior Ranger Program
In response to COVID-19, the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy and Tennessee State Parks joined forces to bring an eight-week virtual camp to young people all over TN. The camp covered a new topic every week and had a lot of nature learning opportunities that could be applied in a State Park or to their neighborhood at home. We are planning on offering additional ongoing opportunities like this one—year-round Virtual Junior Ranger Program to families across Tennessee. We knew it was important to continue children’s learning, offer socialization with other Junior Rangers, and teach outdoor skills that last a lifetime. This program was so successful that we have continued it throughout the year.
Summer 2021 we are piloting the Kits Club at Henry Horton State Park. This program is for younger students that aren’t old enough yet to be a Junior Ranger, but is interested in nature, conservation and having fun and reading in our TN State Parks. Our goal is to have a successful summer program and expand to other parks in 2022. We invite you to support this program too!