(Diamond, MO) – The NPS Wellness Challenge, part of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative, will kick off during National Park Week, beginning Saturday, April 16 and will run indefinitely.

The NPS has introduced a new way to experience Missouri’s beloved treasures — our national parks — with the National Park Service Wellness Challenge. The NPS Wellness Challenge promotes the unique health resources that are found in the national park sites across the country, and asks visitors to participate in physical, mental, and learning wellness activities unique to each park. Missouri is the pilot state for this program.

In southwest Missouri, participants can take part in the NPS Wellness Challenge at George Washington Carver National Monument and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. The challenge was created with leadership and support from Gateway Arch National Park, Healthy Parks Healthy People, and community partners.

How It Works

Each national park site will offer nine Wellness Challenge activities, organized within three categories: physical wellness, learning wellness, and mental wellness. To get started, participants can pick up a National Park Service Wellness Challenge Guide at any Missouri national park site.

When an activity in each category is completed, participants can get their guide stamped by an NPS ranger or download a digital badge to mark their achievement, here. More information about the NPS Wellness Challenge, incuding the full list of park activities, can be found here.

Missouri’s seven national park sites are:

  • Gateway Arch Park in St. Louis
  • George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond
  • Harry S. Truman National Historical Site in Independence
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Van Buren
  • St. Genevieve National Historical Park in St. Genevieve
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis
  • Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Republic

NPS Wellness Challenge Activities at George Washington Carver National Monument:

  • Physical Wellness
    • Pack a picnic, choose a table on the park grounds, and enjoy a healthy meal.
    • Take a self-guided tour and search for wildlife in the woodlands.
    • Take your furry friend for a walk along the one-mile Carver Trail.
  • Learning Wellness
    • Explore the impactful life of Carver at the museum and watch the park film.
    • Join a park ranger on a guided tour along the Carver Trail.
    • Earn a Junior Ranger badge.
  • Mental Wellness
    • With a camera or cell phone, capture a moment in nature on the park grounds.
    • Read the quote stones along the quarter-mile Contemplative Loop Trail.
    • Journal, sketch, or write poetry on the park grounds.

NPS Wellness Challenge Activities at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield:

  • Physical Wellness
    • Walk, run, roll, bike, or drive along the five miles of the park’s tour road.
    • Explore the site with your animal companion and choose from over 10 miles of trails.
    • Hike in the footsteps of Federal and Southern soldiers on one of the site’s five walking trails, such as the Bloody Hill Trail or Manley Uplands Trail.
  • Learning Wellness
    • At the Battlefield Museum, watch the park film, pursue interactive exhibits, and view displays including medical artifacts, diary entries, artillery, and thousands of images of soldiers.
    • Observe plant and animal species on the park grounds.
    • Earn a Junior Ranger badge.
  • Mental Wellness
    • Relax and reflect by the waters of Wilson’s Creek, which flows through the entire park.
    • Journal about the nature you find at Wilson’s Creek.
    • Visit the Ray House and imagine how their family home was transformed by battle into a field hospital.

Share your Wellness Challenge journey on social media with #NPSWellnessChallenge! Follow George Washington Carver National Monument and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield on Facebook, as special social media challenges will be shared during National Park Week.

About George Washington Carver National Monument: 

Administered by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior, George Washington Carver National Monument preserves the birthplace and childhood home of George Washington Carver, scientist, educator, and humanitarian. Please call the park at 417.325.4151 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm for further information. Visit our website at www.nps.gov/gwca and Facebook page. The park is located two miles west of Diamond, Missouri, on Highway V, then south ¼ mile on Carver Road.

Reference:

Diane Eilenstein, Park Ranger
George Washington Carver National Monument
417.325.4151

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