Literally #FindYourPark with free maps!

nps park mapOn August 26, the National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary and as one part of the celebration, we’re asking you to “Find Your Park”. The NPS now has over 400 sites across the nation that offer something for everyone. If you like mountains, the beach, or history, we’ve got a site for you.

There are more than 84 million acres across the U.S., at sites as diverse as national monuments, Civil War battlefields, and historic sites. There’s a big range in size among NPS sites, too: The biggest is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska, at 13.2 million acres, while the smallest is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. These sites attract more than 300 million visitors every year.

Shelton Johnson, a park ranger at Yosemite National Park and published author, shared his thoughts on this important milestone:

No longer were rivers a force to be dammed, virgin forests a source for board-feet, or mountainsides blasted for gemstones or coal. The idea of parks has the power to transcend culture, a currency whose value speaks of something profoundly human.

Speaking of something to offer, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site has a large collection of National Park Service maps from 2006. Instead of throwing them away, we would like to offer these older maps to teachers and students for free! This will allow your students to literally “find their park”.

These maps are perfect for helping students meet state and national standards as they learn about fundamental geography terms such as relative and absolute locations:

  • Have your students identify a park they would like to visit.
  • Students will locate their park in absolute and relative terms.
    • Each site’s address is on the back side of the map
      • 1515 SE Monroe, Topeka, KS 66612 (Absolute)
    • Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is north of Fort Scott National Historic Site (Relative)

Tell me how you would use the map in your classroom and I’ll send you a classroom set of maps for free! Please contact me at You can also message me on Facebook @brownvboardnps or via Twitter @BRVB_NHS. Supplies are limited so we may not have enough for each student in your school but I will supply your classroom with 20 free NPS maps to help your students to #FindYourPark.

nps teachersYou can find even more great teacher resources at NPS. These are searchable by subject, grade level, and standard and are incredibly useful throughout the year. And the NPS Teaching with Historic Places is a perfect for helping you and your students understand the connections between place, people, and events.

Need a few more teaching ideas? Try this PBS site for some sweet lesson plan goodies.

Nick Murray
NPS Ranger
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

About Glenn Wiebe

I work as a social studies specialist at ESSDACK, an educational service center in Hutchinson, Kansas. Before coming to ESSDACK, I taught middle school US History and higher ed social science classes.

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