Find Online Resources for Your Favorite Public Lands

8/25/2021

Pink flowers in a green field in front of mountains

Public lands are some of the best outdoor classrooms in the world and, thanks to their websites, they can be some of the best online classrooms, too. At Interior, our experts at national parks, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, historic sites and research offices across the country are working to make sure it's easy to find educational and engaging resources online. From paleontology to geology, women’s history to Native American culture, bird guides to star maps, you can learn so much without ever leaving your home. You can take a virtual tour, get a real-time view through a webcam or earn a junior ranger badge. All you need is an internet connection and a sense of adventure. 

Coloring and Activities

Your Virtual Parks
The Virtual Scavenger Hunt Through a Designer's Eye celebrates online virtual visiting

If you're looking for relaxing and free coloring activities, there are plenty of pages to check out, but here are a few of our favorites: 

Junior Ranger Resources 

Park Ranger Holding up a Junior Ranger Patch
Park Ranger holding up a Night Explorer Badge by National Park Service. 

Wonderful Web Cams to Share

A number of our public lands bring a unique perspective through webcams. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosts a number of wildlife cams and trail cam footage, active at various points throughout the year. With a ton of National Park webcams to choose from, we pulled some of the most popular and listed them below: 

The cameras help share these places no matter where you are.  

Bighorn Sheep Looks into the Camera
Bighorn sheep at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Resources for Kids, Families and Educators  

Free lesson plans and teacher resources can complement a curriculum no matter what age. If you don't see what you're looking for through the post, be sure to deep dive into some of these links:   

A colorful view of the prismatic spring with steam rising and mountains in the backdrop.
Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park and thermophiles by Curtis Akin, National Park Service. 
  • Create your own caldera with a few simple steps and supplies! The Yellowstone Caldera is a supervolcano that formed thousands of years ago, and its thermal beginnings were spurred by heat in the Earth’s core. This craft project simulates how the caldera was formed — minus the scorching hot magma.  
Humpback Whale jumps from the water sideways with mountains in the background.
Humpback Whale at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska by Kaitlin Thoresen, National Park Service. 
  • This booklet is a gateway to all you need to know about the dazzling Alaskan landscape and Kenai Fjords National Park. Material on fascinating Tufted Puffins and vast icefields are just the beginning in this educational adventure. Absorb all kinds of natural facts with the lessons and activities included.   

  • Learn all about the “Sacred Place of Pele” from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, a park defined by its cultural and geological connection in the explosive landscape. In this resource, learn all about the Hawaiian goddess Pele and sacred sites that link the park to its cultural history. 

  • Predict Old Faithful - Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful is perhaps one of the most popular geysers in the world. Though most geysers are not predictable, Old Faithful is famous for its regularity. Use the rangers' formula and live webcam of the geyser to predict its next eruption.  

  • Discover the Lost World of Dinosaurs with Dinosaur National Monument. Study the ancient lives of prehistoric creatures through this online resource. Dig deeper through videos, activities and facts about the dinosaurs who once roamed your national parks.   

  • Read about the Founding of our Government at Independence Hall National Historical Park. The Pennsylvania park is an integral part of our American history — it was the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Learn all about the American Revolution and the document’s connection to our nation’s past and future. 

A summary of the water cycle
Poster series and summary of a water cycle for younger kids by U.S. Geological Survey. 
  • Keep your mind flowing with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science School. Test your knowledge on the heart of all life on Earth. From quizzes on rainfall to videos on glaciers, there is much to explore.  

  • Looking out the window of your home, you can probably see a bird. But what kind of bird is it? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggests these wonderful bird identification resources. With an amazing variety of colors, sizes, shapes and behaviors, learning about birds can become a lifelong passion. Now start making some feathered friends!  

Interactive Videos & Virtual Tours 

Join rangers on Channel Islands National Park in California as they dive through towering kelp forests and hike dramatic island trails.  The remote islands hold natural treasures that you can watch in real-time through live webcams.

A statue of President Abraham Lincoln is seen during the Salute to America event Thursday, July 4, 2019, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)
A statue of President Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. Photo by D. Myles Cullen, White House. 

There are times when we get homesick for a national park or wildlife refuge that we can't experience in person (for one reason or another). At the Department of the Interior, we think you should have access to these places and resources whenever you'd like. They are yours, and we are always looking for ideas on how to bring them closer to you.  

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