The third annual No Child Left Inside Day brought many families from all over the Pikes Peak region to the park on September 25th, Public Lands Day. Over 600 visitors enjoyed the monument while looking for fossils in the paleontology lab, participating in simulated fossil excavations, hiking with rangers, and visiting the historic Hornbek Homestead for a tour and pioneer games.
By the end of the day, over 200 children became new Junior Rangers. Two new Junior Ranger programs were unveiled during the day. First, a program for one- to four-years olds called “Wee Wasps.” This program involves the parents exploring the park while reading a picture book to their toddlers based on the five senses. Participants receive a Junior Ranger sticker. The other new Junior Ranger program at Florissant is called “Post to Parks.” This is an initiative to connect military families and youth to national parks. For “No Child Left Inside Day,” a busload of children was brought up from Fort Carson. Leading this group were two teacher-ranger-teachers who had worked at the monument and currently teach at Fort Carson.
As part of National Public Lands Day, the monument also conducted a trails restoration project. Staff from Coalition for the Upper South Platte, a local non-profit, partnered with Florissant Fossil Beds volunteers to work on the Hornbek Wildlife Loop trail.
Florissant Fossil Beds took the lead this year in organizing this regional event which included 15 other partners that hosted activities at their respective sites on the same day. The partner groups represented local non-profits, businesses, and county and state parks.