SFNF Introduces “Passport to Pecos” Educational Program

Release Date: Sep 24, 2021

Downloadable Activity Book is Available for National Public Lands Day

SANTA FE, NM – Sept. 24, 2021 – What better way to introduce kids to grown-up concepts like conservation, fire prevention and shared stewardship of public lands than by making it fun! That’s what the Recreation Program on the Pecos/Las Vegas District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has done with its new “Passport to Pecos.”

The downloadable 16-page Passport to Pecos activity booklet – out just in time for National Public Lands Day on Saturday – guides kids of all ages on an interactive journey up Pecos Canyon and encourages them to share their adventures on social media (with parental permission, of course) with the hashtag #PassportToPecos.

“The Pecos Canyon is a magical place that is right in the backyard of so many young people who haven’t explored it or don’t know much about it,” said Sarah Smith, a social science analyst and recreation staff assistant who works on the Pecos/Las Vegas District. “We hope Passport to Pecos will bring new visitors and give people familiar with the area some new insights into its role in the ecosystem and the importance of protecting it.”

The activity booklet includes sections on the Pecos River, plants and animals that live in Pecos Canyon and the area’s rich cultural history as well as important outdoor principles like responsible recreation, campfire safety and Leave No Trace.

After completing the booklet, children have an opportunity to become a “Pecos Protector” by pledging to “respect the waters, plants, animals, and cultural history of Pecos Canyon” and teach others about outdoor responsibility. These simple words, along with programs like Every Kid Outdoors for fourth graders, are an effective way to build the next generation of environmental stewards by giving children a chance to explore, learn and play in America’s great outdoors.

Passport to Pecos goodie bags with Smokey Bear crayons and Pecos Protector badges are available for contactless pick-up at the Pecos District Office, located at 32 South Main Street in Pecos, NM, on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. now through October. A limited number of printed copies of the activity book are also available if you are unable to print the booklet at home.

For many visitors to the SFNF, Pecos Canyon is a much-loved destination for hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding and just enjoying nature. “You’re never too young to discover all of the wonderful things that Pecos Canyon has to offer,” Smith said. “So grab your booklet and a pencil, pack your backpack and join us on a special journey.”

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