In December 2023, seven military families were treated to an exciting day at Cabrillo National Monument, thanks to a collaboration between the National Park Trust, National Park Service (NPS), and Our Military Kids. This partnership provides National Guard, Reserve, and post-9/11 combat-injured service members and their families with access to outdoor recreation opportunities in national park sites across the country.

The day began with a ranger program about the monuments’ natural and cultural history, followed by a tour of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and barracks. Families then headed down to the rocky intertidal area, also known as the tidepools. They saw wildlife, like barnacles, sea anemones, and sea stars, and plenty of fish. This event marked the fourth and last outdoor recreation event scheduled for 2023 at national park sites. Other trips were hosted by the Park Trust at Assateague National Seashore, MD, Mount Rainier National Park, WA, and Biscayne National Park, FL.

The initiative, funded by the NPS and facilitated by the National Park Trust and Our Military Kids, not only provided a memorable day for military personnel and their families but also highlighted the importance of fostering connections with nature and building community bonds. Through these events, families were able to enjoy the great outdoors, learn new skills, and create lasting memories, reinforcing the invaluable role national parks play in promoting recreation, education, and family well-being.