Interpreting Parks Through Art

Though students and teachers in Seattle live in the shadow of Mount Rainier, few have had the opportunity to experience this national park or to explore Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

School systems in the area suffer from limited or non-existent budgets for field trips, so transportation to local treasures is not often an option.

This is precisely why grants from the National Park Foundation are so critical in connecting today’s youth with the national parks.

In 2013, 60 Seattle-based eighth grade students received the opportunity to visit national parks thanks to a grant from the National Park Foundation’s Ticket to Ride program. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park partnered with South Shore School to implement a project called, sParking Inspiration for the Arts. As part of this initiative, students interpreted their experience in the parks through a variety of media, including painting, photography, cartoons, or other creative projects of their choice.

Park ranger and students hiking through snow at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

The art collection created by the South Shore School students hung on display in a professional exhibit at the Klondike Gold Historical Park visitor center from September through December of 2013. The collection was celebrated with a reception and featured as part of First Thursday in Pioneer Square, an art walk event where local art galleries, museums and restaurants stay open late to introduce new exhibitions and artists.

Student holding her work of art
Student holding her work of art

To learn more about the National Park Foundation’s Ticket to Ride program, click here.

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