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NPS ranger helps students learn about natural resources

by John Anderson | February 23, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
Sarah Lent, a Hot Springs National Park ranger, talks to Jana Harrison’s fifth-grade class at Cutter Morning Star virtually about the national park logo and what it represents. - Submitted photo

Sarah Lent, a Hot Springs National Park ranger, spoke last month to students at Cutter Morning Star about the natural resources in Garland County and how unique it is to live surrounded by a national park.

Lent was a guest speaker for Jana Harrison's fifth-grade science class at CMS, which has been learning about Earth's natural resources and the ways people can work to work to protect them.

"This is Hot Springs National Park's 100 year anniversary, so I wanted to share how we are recognizing its beauty in our science class," Harrison said.

Lent said part of the ranger's job is to preserve and protect the national park, noting, "That's what we are trying to do with our national parks is making sure that what you see when you come to Hot Springs or other national parks today is something that generations 100 years down the line will still see those same amazing things.

"Protect means to keep something safe, so we want to make sure we keep these places safe again for all of us to enjoy."

There are five items on the national park logo that remind citizens and park rangers what they preserve and protect, she said.

The trees on the logo symbolize that they protect vegetation such as plants, trees and flowers, and sometimes rare species that could only be found in certain national parks. Rangers also protect all kinds of animals and wildlife and they protect and preserve the lakes.

"We are in Hot Springs, where water is really important. Water is important to all of us to survive, so we protect clean air and water. A lot of our national parks have some really amazing clean water," Lent said.

The mountains on the logo remind the community the rangers protect beautiful scenery.

"Our national parks are some of those beautiful places we have in our country and we want to make sure people can go and enjoy those places," Lent said.

The shape of the logo is an arrowhead that symbolizes that the rangers protect the stories and the history of the national park.

"It could be stories of Native American tribes that have been on this land for thousands of years. Also, the story of early settlers that have come to Hot Springs, or the story of people that have come here for healing or different reasons," Lent said.

"We want to make sure that we protect stories and history in international parks as well," she said, noting there are over 400 national park sites across the country.

"All the little stars and green dots that you see are different national parks that you can go and explore and learn about some of the different protected animals or plants or stories that are there," Lent said. "We have eight different national parks in Arkansas."

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