Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at kcapps@newsminer.com, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

On a recent afternoon, several families gathered at the Murie Science and Learning Center. Each family was handed a skull replica of an animal. They learned about prey and predators and then guessed which category fit each skull.

It’s the newest program, sponsored by Alaska Geographic and the National Park Service, that is an attempt to better serve the diverse needs of visitors to Denali National Park.

“It’s been recognized that visiting Denali poses some challenges to families with young kids (cost, long bus rides, etc.),” said David Tomeo, director of Alaska Geographic at Denali. “We are pleased that this program seems to be hitting the needs of that demographic quite well.

“We expect to be continuing this program in 2020,” he added.

Exhibits and programs are geared for families with children ages 5-15, but all ages are welcome. The exhibit area is open to the public from 1-3 p.m. daily from June through August. The brief program is presented every day at 1:30 p.m. Programs currently include the prey/predator topic and another focuses on bear safe camping.

Exhibits include a skull case in which visitors can match photos of animals in Denali to their skulls; a microscope/magnifying station to closely examine items from nature; a table of fur scraps that can be matched with animal pictures; nature journaling; reading nooks; special stations for grizzly bears, moose and wolves; a plant corner; dinosaur tracks; and art meets science at the Denali Landcover Quilt.

For more information, see the Kids Activities page on the Denali National Park website at bit.ly/2OCmLN8.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 4599-7546. Follow her on Twitter:@FDNMKris.

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