Have you heard of National Park Passport Stamps? I hadn't but once I found out about them I knew I wanted to start a collection with my little girl. The problem was, the journal I wanted didn't exist so I created my own... and The Park Pages was born.
This all started as a way to share the love of parks with my daughter.
It started with The Park Pages...
and grew into Big and Little Parks!
National Park Passport Stamps are wonderful, free mementos available at all the National Park sites.
Hey there. I’m Katie. Mom to one rambunctious toddler and an Architect. Now despite starting this Blog, I didn’t grow up super outdoorsy. I came into it later in life and I’m still waiting on the “super” part. I’ve decided that being “outdoorsy” isn’t an all or nothing thing. I can start small, do what I can handle and enjoy.
My childhood was more focused on art and science then getting outside. And although we did go outside, it just wasn’t a really high priority interest. Then when I was in college, my dad and I went on a big road trip out West to several National Parks. It was so much fun and I loved getting outside and exploring them.
Flash forward to the pandemic: I had a small child and nowhere to really take her. So, we started really focusing on exploring National Park Sites near us on the East Coast. I also discovered collecting Park Passport Stamps. So, then I dove down the online rabbit hole of how do I want to collect these stamps? I wanted something expandable that I could add to and she could add to when she got older, something with a dedicate spot on the page for the stamp, something where I could journal a little about our park visit so that when my daughter is older she can have this memento of her childhood to reflect back on. I also wanted something that wasn’t just one region of parks or just the National Parks! Then with all these requirements I just could not find what I was looking for.
The closest thing I could find was the 7-Ring National Park Passport Explorer Edition Binder. It’s a small binder dedicated to collecting park passport stamps and the stickers the National Park Service sells. It was expandable because it was a binder. But, there were a few issues.
One, I did not want to buy and collect the stickers. Don’t get me wrong I love park themed stickers, but these are very specific and it wsn't my jam to collect only these stickers. I just wanted to collect the free passport stamps. Two, there was no place to journal or keep a record in the binder! Three, it was just National Park Sites and we explore lots of little local parks and state parks too.
So, I told myself, "I’m craftsy… I went to Architecture School… I cut out lots of models from chipboard and have a design based degree. I’m just going to make it myself." And that’s how the first Park Pages were made. I sized them to match the National Park Explorer Edition pages and used a 7-hole punch for the pages to match as well. This way if I wanted to add journal pages to that binder system later on, I could! I crafted my binders from chipboard and some pretty awesome Spoonflower fabric by independent designers.
Then, I thought, well I could not find anything like these pages online, maybe someone else is looking for this too. So, I opened the The Park Pages Etsy shop. I’ve really enjoyed getting back to my creative side in the evenings after working all day researching building code and doing construction details and building coordination, so I’ve decided to expand into doing Big and Little Park drawings and designs to sell on stickers and mugs and more. Now I’ve rebranded to Big and Little Parks to encompass all the parks and park goodies they inspire in my shop and keep my Park Pages as a featured collection because, you know, they really started all of this!
I hope you enjoy perusing my shop and find a memento that connects you to a park you treasure. Also be sure to read a Blog post or two… you may find somewhere new to go!