LASALLE, Ill. (AP) — The I & M Canal National Heritage Area will have "Junior Ranger" days on July 27 and Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The National Park Service Junior Ranger program offers young visitors a chance at a series of activities, questions and answers with the park ranger and a Junior Ranger patch.

The I & M Canal was a transportation thoroughfare connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. Groundbreaking took place in July 1836.

Participants should meet at the Lock 16 Visitor Center in LaSalle.

Park Ranger Bill Smith will greet visitors at the center. He will answer questions and deputize the new rangers.

I & M mule-powered boats rides will be half-price for all kids.