Picnic in the Park Explore for Health

little girl wearing life jacket and ranger flat hat
Imersyn Pendergrass with a loaner life jacket and a loaner NPS ranger flat hat!

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: June 20, 2016

Contact: Caven Clark, 870-365-2790

Young Moms-Healthy Families Visit the Buffalo on Picnic-in-the-Park Day

Saturdaywas a busy day at Buffalo National River as the heat and humidity climbed to a point where being in the water seemed like a very good idea. To this end, three families from Yellville and Marshall took advantage of an opportunity to visit the park through a partnership between Young Moms-Healthy Families and Buffalo National River.

Young Moms Healthy Families is afree, voluntary program that serves Van Buren and Searcy Counties. This program enrolls women who are pregnant or families who have children younger than three months old. Through the program, families are supported through home visits and monthly group gatherings like the one held at Tyler Bend, during which staff provide information about what to expect during pregnancy, how your child grows and learns, learning activities you can do with your child, and much more. Raising kids can be expensive, so the program helps connect families to resources that can help them and offers incentives in which families can earn diapers, wipes, books, and toys by participating in program activities. If interested in enrolling, contact Melissa Smyth at 501/745-9305 or message Young Moms Healthy Families on Facebook.

 These groups were brought together at a meeting of the Growing a Healthy Searcy County which provides a variety of activities and community support opportunities. Although attendance was small, this group learned about the many ways that public lands can facilitate health and wellness goals without spending a lot of money doing it. In addition to receiving their "Explore for Health" patches, participants received a Centennial Jr. Ranger workbook, and a packet of wildflower seeds provided by the Burpee Seed Company in celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service. Significantly, all of the children attending the event (except the tiniest) took advantage of the park's new life jacket loaner program and borrowed a personal floatation device to insure that their visit was not only enjoyable but safe. These life jackets are available in infant and child sizes at the Tyler Bend Visitor Center and at the Buffalo Point Visitor Contact Station and can be checked out by any visiting families.

The Active Trail Grant, called "Explore for Health" at Buffalo National River, is in its third year and is reaching out in new directions. This year the program has assisted in bringing Marshallese Islands for a hike and lunch at Lost Valley, a guided archeology hike to Indian Rockhouse, a winter backpacking trip, a Lost Valley picnic for Boone County Special Services, and a Special Olympics Fun Day at Tyler Bend. Buffalo National River welcomes your interest in hosting group opportunities in the park to further the goals of health and wellness for your community. Please contact Caven Clark at 870/365-2790 ore-mail usfor more information about how to take advantage of this program.

Last updated: June 20, 2016

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