Ranger Rick, originally Ranger Rick's Nature Magazine, is a childrenâs nature magazine that is published by the National Wildlife Federation. The magazine offers activities for children, ages 7 and up, in order to spark their interest in the outdoors and become more actively involved in the environment. The magazine's primary intention is to instill a passion for nature and promote activity outdoors. Children are growing increasingly distant from their environment, which raises a concern that conservational efforts in the future will diminish. However, Ranger Rick has taken this lack of interest into account and has made some changes in its content to attract children and therefore promote environmental activism. NWF also publishes two companion magazines, Big Backyard, which is aimed at ages 3â"7, and Wild Animal Baby, which is aimed at kids 1â"4 years old.)
Ranger Rick is the oldest and biggest children's nature magazine. The National Wildlife Federation first published the magazine as Ranger Rick's Nature Magazine, in January 1967 and instantly gained many devoted readers who have since passed on their interest to their own children.
Ranger Rick has a circulation of 525,000, and an estimated 200,000 more children are exposed to the magazine by viewing pre-used copies. The magazine has one issue published every month by the National Wildlife Federation.
The magazine uses an environmentally friendly processed paper, which is composed of consumer waste (about 30%) and is absent of chlorine. Vegetable oils largely make up the magazine's actual ink. By using these environmentally friendly resources the following is saved on a monthly basis:
- Trees: 1,179
- Total Energy: 3,300 million BTUs
- Greenhouse Gases: 617,398Â lbs. carbon
- Waste Water: 1,517,064 gallons
- Solid Waste: 216,093Â lbs.
Each issue includes nonfiction articles about various environmental and animal topics, fictional story-like articles, and color photography throughout. Also included in the magazine are activities such as nature-themed games, activities that get children to actively learn more about their environments, riddles, and jokes. Most of the pages of the magazine feature multi-page photo stories of animals in their natural habitats. There are also illustrated stories, games, riddles, nature news, poetry, contests, and other features and columns. "Ranger Rick" also refers to the protagonist in a long-standing feature of Ranger Rick magazine, Ranger Rick's Adventures (originally titled Ranger Rick and his Friends). The feature is published in the form of an illustrated short story, in which Ranger Rick â" a raccoon wearing a park ranger's hat â" and his gang of friends from Deep Green Wood explore the world, often encountering threats to wildlife and environmental problems. Rick or any one of his friends, including Boomer Badger and Scarlett Fox, always finds a solution to whatever problem they encounter, thus encouraging children to do their part to protect their natural environment.
Previous Ranger Rick magazines have featured these and other adventure stories:
- recycling Christmas trees as a means of helping to provide proper habitat for fish (December 2009-January 2010);
- Rick and Scarlett pulling an April Fool trick on Boomer Badger to get him away from his TV and computer and to get out into nature and fresh air (April 2009);
- realizing the hazards of long fishing lines at sea (June and July 2008); illustrated by Rob Gilbert/Robby Gilbert.
- struggling with alien species in the Florida Everglades (February 2007). illustrated by Rob Gilbert/Robby Gilbert.
Ranger Rick has received the "Golden Lamp Award for excellence in educational journalism". Here are other awards the magazine has attained over the years:
"Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award Winner
- Periodical of the Year for Children (Grades K-5)
- Best Feature Story ("Nature Did It First," April 2009)
- Best Visual Story ("Wild and Weird," Oct. 2009))
- Best Photograph (April 2009)
- Best Design/Whole Publication, Oct. 2008 issue
- Best Article Design (âNoisy Boys Band,â Sept. 2008)
- Best Feature Article (âNoisy Boys Band,â Sept. 2008)
- Best Visual Story (âIsland of the Bats,â October 2007)
- Best Photograph (âFruit Eating Bat,â October 2007)
- Best Magazine Illustration ("What's Lurking in Your Lawn?" Sept. 2006)
- Best Visual Article ("Skin," Dec. 2006)
- Best Feature Story ("The Scoop on Poop," March 2006)
- Best Visual Story ("Hum, Hum Hummers," June 2006)
- Best Visual Story ("Face to Face," May 2005)
- Best How-To Feature ("Six Trix for Better Pix," June 2005)
- Best Teacher's Guide (December 2005)
- Best Informational/Educational Website (for http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick.aspxwww.nwf.org/rangerrick )
- Best Feature Article ("Meat-Eating Plants, " Nov. 2003)
- Best Feature Article ("Open Wide, Look Inside, It's Alive!" Feb. 2002)
- Best Illustration ("Open Wide, Look Inside, It's Alive!" Feb. 2002)
- Best How-To Feature ("Good Pet, Bad Pet," June 2002)
- Best Visual Story ("Wahoo, Kangaroo!" Feb. 2002)
- Golden Lamp Award finalist
- Winner for Best Visual Story ("All About Me," June 2000)
Note: Before 2000 or so, the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) was known as EdPress.
- EdPress Winner for Primates Special Issue (October 1997 issue)
- EdPress Golden Lamp Honor Award
- EdPress Distinguished Achievement Award
- EdPress Golden Lamp Award for best overall magazine (October 1997 issue)
Parents' Choice Foundation
- Parents' Choice Foundation Silver Medal, 2010
- Parents' Choice Foundation Gold Medal, 2009
- Parent's Choice Foundation, Gold Medal, 2008
- Parentsâ Choice Foundation, Award Winner, 2006, for NWF: Kids & Families website
- Parents' Choice Foundation, Gold Medal, 2003
- Parents' Choice Foundation, Gold Medal, 1999
- Parents' Choice Foundation, Gold Medal, 1996
The Learning Magazine Teachers' Choice Awards
- Teachers' Choice Award for the Family
- Teachers' Choice Award for the Family (for Ranger Rick magazine and its Educator's Guide)
- 2001 - Folio Editorial Excellence Award Silver Winner for Outstanding Editorial Work
- 1996 - Society of National Association Publishers General Excellence Award
- 1991 - National Magazine Award finalist for special issue on frogs
The magazine is named after Ranger Rick, the raccoon protagonist who was first portrayed extinguishing a forest fire within the first issue. Ranger Rick and his friends, Scarlett Fox and Boomer Badger have many adventures together (as depicted in the magazineâs regularly featured cartoon and fiction stories) and always look for new ways to help preserve the environment.
In the classroom
Ranger Rick is sometimes incorporated in elementary science classrooms to enhance the interest of environmental conservation in young children.
Because technology has greatly influenced and impacted the lives of children today, Ranger Rick magazine has made modifications in order to appeal to the children, who are becoming increasingly distant in engaging in outdoor exploration. In order to inspire a new generation of conservationists, attracting young readers is essential to magazines that promote environmental awareness and preservation efforts., and Ranger Rick magazine has realized this importance of maintaining natural interest in young people. The magazine has since made changes within their content in order to appeal to a changed generation of children, not only for profit, but for the future of conservational efforts. The magazine has made such changes, for example, in the amount of narrative, by replacing the majority of narrative pieces with more visually engaging elements. Also, the Ranger Rick character himself has had a transformation as he once appeared as an accurate representation of a real raccoon, to becoming a very unrealistic, cartoon-like figure. Some sections of the magazine have been modified as well, such as placing the text and titles in more modern and ideal locations to visually draw in readers.
- National Wildlife Federation's Children's Magazines