It's summer, y'all! No more excuses to veg out on the couch Netflixing, Instagramming or Pinteresting. July is National Park Month, which means it's time to get wild and enjoy Mother Nature's intended outdoor environments. Need some convincing? We've got some friends who are cute enough to coax you. Meet 10 of the cutest park mascots in North America. See how they stack up and where you can find them.
Name: Parka the Beaver
Works At: Parks Canada
Resume: To celebrate Parks Canada 100th birthday last year, they introduced Parka the beaver as their new mascot. Parka was born in Canada's largest national park, Wood Buffalo National Park. It is the world's largest beaver dam too.
Name: Freddie the Flathead Catfish
Works At: Mississippi National River, Miss.
Resume: Freddie the Flathead Catfish serves as the Mississippi River's No. 1 protector. He often teaches class about stewardship of the river. Recently, Freddie embarked on a road trip to visit other national parks, sending rangers postcards of his travels.
Name: Ranger Ramble
Works At: Tennessee State Park, Nashville, Tenn.
Resume: Ramble the Raccoon was born in Memphis, Tenn. at T.O. Fuller State Park. Tennessee State Parks partnered with NFL’s Tennessee Titans as part of the NFL Play60 effort, which encourages Tennessee’s youth to be physically fit, eat healthy and remain active while enjoying one of the state's parks.
Name: Billy Bowman (Glacier Billy)
Works At: Glacier National Park Fund
Resume: With nearly 400 Twitter followers and his own website, Billy Bowman is quite a popular little mascot. Billy fans and visitors dedicated to ensuring the future of Glacier National Park can now buy stuffed-animal replicas of this guy.
Name: Pearl the Squirrel
Works At: New York City
Resume: Unveiled in April 2010 as the first official mascot of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Pearl was created by Disney cartoonist Adam Koford. Pearl is said to love everything New Yorkers love, including Shake Shack burgers.
Name: Buddy the Bison
Works At: National Park Trust, Rockville, Md.
Resume: Buddy the Bison is a favorite among little ones. This summer, fans can purchase a Buddy Bison of their own. Profits help send an underserved kid to a park through the National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks National Scholarship Fund.
Name: Major Muskrat
Works At: River Raisin National Battlefield Park, Monroe, Mich.
Resume: Major Muskrat was named the official mascot of River Raisin National Battlefield Park when the park became a part of the National Park System in October, 2010. His popularity soared quickly. A collectible ornament was even created and given to those who donated $25 or more to the park’s youth programs.
Name: Grady the Groundhog
Works At: Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, N.C.
Resume: For the past five years, Grady the Groundhog has hosted a Groundhog Day Celebration. This past February, Grady came out of his hut, glanced around, and after seeing his shadow, predicted that there would be six more weeks of winter. Thanks for the weather report, Grady.