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Contact: Paula Valentine, 631-687-4759
Contact: Irene Rosen, 631-687-4765
Patchogue, New York— Fire Island National Seashore will mark National Park Week with a "March for Parks" tour and other hikes, and a special Junior Ranger workshop. "This is our chance to welcome visitors back to the park as we prepare for another busy summer season," said Superintendent Chris Soller, "and remind people on Long Island about the treasures in their own backyard." National Park Week, which runs from April 18 through April 26, is celebrated nationwide in many of the 391 units of the National Park System.
March for Parks
Held annually across the country as an initiative to celebrate and conserve local, state, regional and national parks, Fire Island's "March for Parks" program will be held at the Fire Island Lighthouse on Saturday, April 18. The Historic Area Lighthouse Trek begins at the Robert Moses State Park Field 5 parking lot at 8:00 a.m. The two-hour, 2-mile program includes a hike to the site of the first Fire Island State Park, established in 1908 on the grounds of the historic Surf Hotel, just east of the lighthouse. The hike ends back at the Fire Island Lighthouse, now a part of Fire Island National Seashore. Reservations are required. A $15/person program fee, collected by the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, helps support the operation of the site. This tour includes a commemorative T-shirt and light refreshments. For more information, contact the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society at 631-661-4876.
National Junior Ranger Day
The highlight of Fire Island National Seashore's National Park Week activities is a special National Junior Ranger Day workshop. This free event will be held on Saturday, April 25, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Fire Island Lighthouse. Children will learn to make seaside crafts, and a park biologist will demonstrate scientific sampling techniques. Special activities include "Orienteering and Map Discovery," offered at noon; "United States Life Saving Service" at 1:00 p.m.; and "Animal Tracking" at 2:00 p.m. By participating in at least two of these ranger-led programs, children will earn their own 2009 National Junior Ranger Day patch. Families and kids of all ages are welcome to join the day's activities. Parking is available at Robert Moses State Park Field 5 ($6/car fee charged).
This is the third year that National Junior Ranger Day is being celebrated nationwide as a part of National Park Week. Participating in the day's activities allows children and their families to explore and learn about how the National Park Service protects parks, and how they can help, too.
Fire Island National Seashore is offering two additional ranger-guided walks during National Park Week.
- On Sunday, April 19 at 9:00 a.m.: "Discovering the Fire Island Wilderness," a 3-hour, 3-mile round trip hike through Fire Island's federally designated wilderness and on the beach, leaves from the Wilderness Visitor Center. Parking is available at Smith Point County Park. Call 631-281-3010 for directions, information.
- On Sunday, April 26, at 10:00 a.m.: "In Honor of Trees" Walking Tour at the William Floyd Estate celebrates Earth Day, Arbor Day and National Park Week, all in one. During a 1½-hour, 2-mile stroll, a Fire Island National Seashore naturalist demonstrates how to identify trees by their bark, buds, fruits and leaves. Some of the historic trees planted by members of the Floyd family more than 150 years ago will be featured on this walk. Call 631-399-2030 for more information and directions to the service entrance at 20 Washington Avenue, Mastic Beach, NY 11951.
Both programs are free. Reservations are not required for these walks.
For more information about these programs, contact Fire Island National Seashore's Interpretation Office at 631-687-4765.
To learn more about Fire Island National Seashore, visit the park's web site at www.nps.gov/fiis.
Link to a PDF version of this press release.
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