ESTES PARK, Colo. -- At 100 years old, Rocky Mountain National Park is still gorgeous. But the National Parks Service says it and other National Parks need a makeover.
In 2014, Rocky Mountain National Park had its biggest attendance numbers since 2000. Nearly 3.4 million people visited the park. Even with that healthy number, the park is still lacking something else: a younger crowd.
Traditional visitors tend to be older and white. The National Park Service says in order to bring its parks into the next generation; it needs to attract a more youthful, diverse crowd.
“One of our goals with Rocky's centennial this year is to inspire the future and continue to connect with youth. We do that in a variety of ways. The Junior Ranger program and our Environmental Education program are two great ways we are able to connect with young people. For example we have rangers who go to classrooms along the Front Range. That is usually followed up with the students coming to the park to experience, connect and learn tied to their curriculum,” said Kyle Patterson, spokesperson for Rocky Mountain National Park.
An advertising campaign will debut over the next year showing how people connect with their favorite National Parks.
On top of that, throughout the next school year all 4th grade students and their families are being granted free access to the country’s national parks.