Modified: May 4, 2017 1:53pm
A new self-guided program focused on introducing children and their families to explore the Erie County Park System was recently launched, with participants encouraged to visit at least 10 county-owned facilities to qualify for classification as a Junior Park Ranger.
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry is overseeing the program, which promotes the many recreational opportunities available on a year-round basis at nearly 20 different park properties located throughout Western New York, including sites that can be enjoyed in natural environmental areas that showcase the beauty of each destination.
“The Junior Park Ranger Program began May 1 as a way for the county to encourage children and all those who are young at heart to visit our parks and realize that there is something for everyone,” said Erie County Parks Commissioner Daniel J. Rizzo. “We have over 10,000 acres of parkland that is owned and maintained by Erie County. Our parks are open to everyone and there are no admission fees, making them the perfect destinations for family fun. I encourage families to embrace the Junior Park Ranger Program and make it a family project this year to attain Junior Park Ranger status.”
The Junior Park Ranger Program is being launched in conjunction with the recent distribution of the Erie County Park System Passport, a 32-page pocket-sized guide to the county parks that includes the history and list of activities that can be enjoyed at each location. The free guides can be obtained by visiting designated pick-up points within select parks or by asking one of the county’s Park Rangers for a passport. The passport can also be downloaded and printed by participants.
In order to become a Junior Park Ranger, participants must visit the county’s five “heritage” parks (Akron Falls, Chestnut Ridge, Como Lake, Ellicott Creek, Emery) and at least five of the other parks listed in the Parks Passport. At each park a special code will be posted in a prominent place that participants then record inside their passport. In addition, hints, maps and geographic coordinates of where each special code is located within each park will be available on the county’s website.
The process is completed when participants visit the website and complete the Junior Park Ranger application or visit the Parks Department’s office inside the Rath Building (95 Franklin Street in Buffalo.) Once the complete passports have been approved and it has been determined the requirements have been met, Junior Park Ranger certificates will be mailed to each Junior Park Ranger, with plans for a ceremony honoring all of the 2017 Junior Park Rangers to be held at Chestnut Ridge Park later this year.
For more information:
About the Junior Park Ranger Program, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/index.php?q=junior-park-ranger-program-0
To download the Parks Passport, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/sites/www2.erie.gov.parks/files/uploads/pdfs/...
To complete the Junior Park Ranger Program application, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/index.php?q=junior-park-ranger-application