VIDEO: Muppets Head to the National Parks

Elmo and friends visit the Grand Canyon and five other protected areas
Staff Writer

YouTube/National Park Service

A new campaign by the Sesame Workshop and the U.S. National Park Service is encouraging children aged 3-5 to explore outdoors.

The project features six short videos with Muppets Elmo and Murray and a resident park ranger. In this one the muppets learn about Grand Canyon habitats with Park Ranger Amela Posey.

"This is very child-focused, stimulating children's natural curiosity and bringing that exploration to the natural environment," Rosemarie T. Truglio, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president of education and research, told The Associated Press.

While the campaign features national parks, the organizers hope that the project will also encourage kids to explore nature in their own backyards.  The project highlights not only popular parks but also lesser-visited protected areas near large cities, such as the Gateway National Recreation Area located in New York City and northern New Jersey. (The National Parks system includes 401 parks or other "units" throughout the United States.)

"We have a concern that children are losing their connection to the outdoors," National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis told The AP. "As you show kids the habitats at Gateway National Park and the Grand Canyon, you're showing them that there are similar habitats near them. We want to get these kids thinking, 'Let's move, let's get outside, and learn something at the same time.'"

The videos went live Tuesday on partner organizations’ websites and social media channels. They will also be available for national parks to use in their visitors centers.



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