WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
The Ambassador Program is a youth-led movement to promote and support our national system of state parks, to encourage healthy active outdoor lifestyles in the safety of parks, and to increase public awareness of the almost 8,000 “close to home” state parks that we all need and love.
Many of us have grown up with state parks being an important part of our lives. We visit them to hike, bike, swim, canoe or kayak, ski or snowshoe, climb, bird-watch, discover new plants and wildlife, photograph landscapes and sunsets, camp, picnic, or just to get away and experience the beauty AND solitude of nature. If we live in a city, the nearby state parks are a respite from the crowded and noisy urban environment, soothing our souls and providing open space, fresh air and inspiration. We NEED our state parks!
Although there are state parks close to almost every citizen of the country, many people simply do not take advantage of these natural and cultural public treasures. We need ambassadors — YOU — to help promote our state parks and to encourage others to appreciate their value as we do. We have seen, in tough economic times, that state governments will sometimes pull funding from parks to apply to some other short-term need, but we need to remember that parks are forever! We need to care for and protect them in perpetuity as we do other natural and cultural resources like monuments and museums.
WHO ARE STATE PARK AMBASSADORS?
A State Park Ambassador is a young adult (16 – 28 years old) who is passionate about parks and wants to help promote their special recreational, historic and natural values by sharing her/his personal experiences in their beloved state parks. Our Ambassadors use the America’s State Parks website and social media tools to widely communicate their love of parks to friends, families and acquaintances.
Being a State Park Ambassador is EASY. Here are the simple steps:
- Fill out the application form and a registration form that will be sent to you after we review and accept your application
- Have an experience in a state park – you may choose to take a hike, ride a horse, paddle a kayak, climb a cliff (if permitted!), lead a tour, teach a skill, watch birds or other wildlife, sit by a waterfall, mentor a child, introduce a friend to the park, explore some remote corner of the park little known to others, help a park staffer, join a parks friends event, help care for the park (remove invasive weeds, help build a trail or paint picnic tables), or any of the 1,000s of activities you can do in a park! Remember—follow all park rules, and contact a park staff person if what you’d like to do is different than normal visitor activities.
- Record your experience… write an article, take photos or shoot and edit a video, record an audio story, write a poem, sketch or draw what you saw, or use your imagination to capture your experience for sharing with others!
- Share your experience. Post your story and media files to the America's State Parks Content Management System (you will receive details on how to do this when you join), and share a link to your posted story to the social media networks you belong to (Facebook, etc). Your written and visual contributions submitted to America’s State Parks must be appropriate for a general public audience. Articles, stories and poems should be 1,000 words or less, and no more than 10 photos can be submitted per entry. Any videos should be 6 minutes or shorter, edited to limit unnecessary or redundant content.
- Once content is reviewed, your experience may be posted on the national America’s State Parks website!
BADGES as REWARDS
Every new ambassador earns a badge after his or her first submission to America’s State Parks. From there, earn additional badges for achieve specific goals. Your badges will be prominently displayed on your personal profile page on this website. You can continue to earn badges indefinitely! See our list of diverse badges that you can earn.
Ambassador National Coordinator
Meet our Ambassador National Coordinator. Contact him if you have any questions.
Ambassador National Coordinator
Based in Wisconsin