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                                                                    July 17, 2012
In Reply Refer To:
1115 (420) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-158
Expires: 09/30/2013
To:                   All Field Officials
                        Attn:  Environmental Education, Heritage Education, Interpretation, NLCS, and Outreach Leads
From:               Assistant Director, National Landscape Conservation System and Community Partnerships

Subject:           BLM “Junior Explorer” Program:  Production of Activity Books and Program Implementation

Program Areas:  Environmental Education, Heritage Education, Interpretation, and Outreach

Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides guidance for the creation, printing, and distribution of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Junior Explorer children’s activity books and program implementation at field sites. Children become Junior Explorers by exploring their public lands. Activity booklets are provided free of charge, either at a BLM site or on the web, to children and their families, allowing them the flexibility to see and relate to the public lands at their own pace. Children can learn about natural and cultural resources, science, history, animals, dinosaurs, and much more, while developing an understanding of why it is so important to conserve public lands and their resources. Upon completion of the activity booklet, a certificate stating that the child has become a Junior Explorer is available. Junior Explorer certificates motivate families to visit sites and collect as many booklets as they can. 

Policy/Action:  Field offices are encouraged to implement Junior Explorer programs as described below.


Each BLM Junior Explorer booklet should meet the specifications outlined in Attachment 1.  Any booklets currently in use at field sites may be revised to meet these specifications at the time of reprinting.

Sample Junior Explorer booklets, guidance, and other resources are available on the BLM Junior Explorer intranet site:

A library of booklets produced by the Washington Office will also be available online for the “virtual” Junior Explorer. Several existing field booklets are also available as a resource. Field sites may feel free to borrow any activities, artwork, or ideas from these booklets.
Program Implementation
  • Each office may implement the program in the manner that works best for that office. Personal interaction between BLM staff or volunteers and young participants is strongly encouraged, including public recognition of children for completing the activities.
  • Volunteers who are familiar with the booklet and comfortable with answering questions can play an important role in implementing the program.
  • Tips for program implementation in various BLM settings are available on the Junior Explorer intranet site noted above. 
  • Offices should follow all procedures and policies established by the Washington Office or State Office Public Affairs staff for approval, printing, and distribution.
Data Collection
  • Detailed information on Junior Explorer programs facilitated at field sites will be solicited by the Washington Office as part of the annual data call on education and interpretation program accomplishments. 

Some sites are interagency efforts or operate under other unique arrangements that may make it difficult for them to comply with those guidelines. In those cases, site managers may apply for a waiver to the guidelines.  To request a waiver, contact Megg Heath. See below for contact information.

Timeframe:  This IM is effective immediately.

Background:  The BLM Junior Explorer program provides an avenue for all segments of the agency to create and provide engaging high-quality activities and educational materials to parents, elementary-age children, and teachers. The goal of the Junior Explorer program is to encourage awareness of the BLM and public land stewardship, and to instruct children in the natural and social sciences. This guidance will help BLM staff to present the program in a uniform manner across the BLM, which will help to build brand recognition and further the ultimate success of the program.

Budget Impact:  None.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None.

Coordination:  The contents of this IM were developed with input from the Washington Office and select Junior Explorer field sites.

Contact:  For more information on the BLM Junior Explorer program, please contact Megg Heath of the Division of Education, Interpretation, and Partnerships at (970) 882-6855 or mheath@blm.gov   
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:

Carl Rountree                                                               Robert M. Williams

Assistant Director, National Landscape                        Division of IRM Governance,WO-560  Conservation System and Community Partnerships 

1 Attachment

Last updated: 07-19-2012