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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 hikes and other walks, celebrations of Earth Day, and a special National Junior Ranger Day workshop. "We're once again offering a wide range of activities during this year's National Park Week celebration," said Superintendent Chris Soller, "which reflects the diversity of resources and recreational and educational opportunities that the Seashore provides." National Park Week, which runs from April 16 through April 24 in 2011 is celebrated nationwide in many of the 394 units of the National Park System.
Fire Island kicks off National Park Week with its annual Historic Area Lighthouse Trek on Saturday, April 16, at the Fire Island Lighthouse. Beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Robert Moses State Park Field 5, this 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 Fire Island Light Station. The trek passes several historic buildings and ends at the new Fresnel lens display building. Still under construction, the Fresnel lens building is between the 1826 foundation of the first Fire Island Lighthouse and the current 1858 Fire Island Lighthouse, a Fire Island National Seashore facility operated by the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society. Reservations are required. Program fees ($15/person) collected by the Society help support the operation of the site. Additional National Park Week programs at the Fire Island Lighthouse include an Early Spring Bird Walk (free), from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m., and an Evening Lighthouse Tower Tour ($15/person fee) at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 17. For more information or to make reservations, contact the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society at 631-661-4876.
Additional ranger-guided walks and programs during National Park Week focus on Earth Day this year. At the Wilderness Visitor Center, a Seaside Stories and Crafts activity is offered on Saturday, April 9, at noon. A ranger-guided 3-mile hike into the Fire Island Wilderness is offered on Saturday, April 16 at 9:00 a.m. Each of these programs is free. Park at Smith Point County Park and meet at the Wilderness Visitor Center. Call 631-281-3010 on weekends or 631-687-4765 weekdays for more information about these activities.
The Old Mastic Signs of Spring walk at the William Floyd Estate is set for Sunday, April 10, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Call 631-399-2030 for more information about this 2- to 3-mile guided walk.
National Junior Ranger Day
On Saturday, April 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the park celebrates National Park Week activities is a special National Junior Ranger Day workshop on the grounds of the Fire Island Lighthouse. Children will learn to make seaside crafts. Special activities include "Orienteering," offered at noon; "Basic Nature Photography" at 1:00 p.m.; and "Animal Tracking" at 2:00 p.m. Activities will also be available in Spanish this year.
New this year, for kids 9 and older, is a 3-mile "Discovering Fire Island" hike, part of the Let's Move Outside initiative, planned for Saturday, April 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Register in advance by calling the Office of Interpretation at 631-687-4765. Dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes for hiking in sand, and pack a lunch and drink.
By participating in at least two of these ranger-led programs, children will earn their own National Junior Ranger Day patch. Families and kids of all ages are welcome to join the day's activities. For more information about these programs, contact Fire Island National Seashore's Interpretation Office at 631-687-4765.
National Junior Ranger Day is 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. More information is available at www.nps.gov/npweek.
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April 2011 Special Programs at Fire Island National Seashore