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winding course through the states of Montana, Oregon,
Washington and Idaho. While on the journey they learned
about fitness, various locations, and about the following
U.S. national parks – in order: Yellowstone National Park
(Montana); Crater Lake National Park (Oregon);
Mount Rainier National Park (Washington); Olympic National
Park (Washington); North Cascades National Park
(Washington); and Glacier National Park
The kids completed their journey during the final week of
the 2009-2010 school year at Glacier National Park, located
in northwest Montana (only 160 miles north of their school).
During May 2010, Glacier National Park had its centennial
celebration – having been a national park since May 11,
The Northwest U.S. Parks Run web site chronicles the journey of
modern "virtual" travelers as they ran to and
through 6 national parks to improve
health and fitness while learning about this significance of
these national treasures. There were 54 fourth grade
students and 41 fifth graders trekking along the course during
the 2009-2010 school year. Each grade was a separate "team".
They ran and walked the route while in a friendly
competition to see which grade could complete it first...
and both classes finished the challenge before the end of
the school year!
This project remains online as a model for
schools to use in developing their own virtual treks. Visit
the Northwest U.S. Parks Run web site at
The purpose of each virtual trek is for students to run and
walk toward greater fitness while at the same time learning
about the locations that they virtually travel through. It's
through this combination of fitness and learning that
students experience places beyond their school boundaries in
a unique and challenging way. The virtual trek web sites
developed by Paul Staso regularly
acquire visitor traffic from around the world. The
site from 2009-2010 gets many visitors
each school year, and Paul frequently receives
e-mail messages from teachers asking how they can implement
a similar program in their schools.