5th-grader’s advice to other kids: Just park it!


Navajo Times | Cindy Yurth
Kaitlyn Bia, 10, poses in her junior ranger regalia with Doug, a stuffed mountain goat she purchased near Glacier National Park last year.

With four national parks, monuments and historic sites within their reservation and several more on its perimeter, most Navajos take national parks for granted – if they don’t consider them a flat-out nuisance, with all their rules and overly inquisitive tourists.

But for a 5th-grader who lives within walking distance of Canyon de Chelly National Monument, the parks have become … well, more than a hobby. More like a lifestyle.

Kaitlyn Bia, 10, who lives at the foot of Black Rock near the headwaters of the De Chelly Wash, took full advantage of the National Park Service’s Every Kid in a Park program, which offers a free one-year National Parks pass to fourth-graders and their families.

Every kid in “a park”? Ha! Kaitlyn managed to visit 47 of them!

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About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.