Local Celebrations Planned During National Park Week

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Date: April 10, 2007
Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134

While people across the country are celebrating National Park Week, April 23 through April 28, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore staff is encouraging the public to join them right here in your own back yard for a free “Brown Bag Bonanza” luncheon series. The “Brown Bag Bonanzas” will take place Monday through Friday from noon until 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center, and will feature various park employees telling stories and sharing photos from the different National Park sites at which they have worked. Festivities will culminate on Saturday, with a special Junior Ranger Day, where children of all ages are invited to learn about and explore the Lakeshore, earn a badge and take the Junior Ranger oath!

“Bring your lunch and settle in as our Rangers recount their first-hand experiences at special places such as Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Dinosaur, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, and other treasures of the National Park System,” said Dusty Shultz, Superintendent. “You’ll be amazed at the range of experience we have here at Sleeping Bear Dunes,” said Shultz. “Our staff collectively, has worked in over 120 different National Park Service sites around the country.” No park pass is required to participate in the “Brown Bag Bonanzas” and light refreshments will be served. 

  • Monday, April 23 – Chief Ranger Larry Johnson will speak about the dangerous wildlife of Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming. He’ll have some footage of animal-human interactions, as well as some amazing teaching tools.

  • Tuesday, April 24 – Park Ranger Chris Amidon will actually stop by on his way to Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, where he is returning to the job he held during the summers of 2002-2004. As a seasonal interpretive ranger, he helped visitors there understand the significance of a park where above ground the prairie and forests boast of bison, elk and pronghorn herds while below ground one of the longest and most complex caves in the world is preserved.

  • Wednesday, April 25 – Husband and wife team of Paul and Gail Purifoy have worked at over 20 park sites (not all of them while married). One of their favorites was Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado. Was it really like Jurassic Park?

  • Thursday, April 26 – Human Resource Assistant Marie White will reminisce about her stint at Death Valley National Park in California and focus on what she did at Scotty’s Castle, while Administrative Assistant Susie Harold will talk about her special assignment in 1995 to Joshua Tree National Park, another California desert park.

  • Friday, April 27 – Before Ranger Jim Dal Sasso settled down to work at the Lakeshore, he moved around the entire country as a seasonal for 15 years. Through his personal slide collection, he will take us on a whirlwind tour of many of the 22 natural, historical, Atlantic, Pacific, riverside, lakeside, mountain, and desert parks he called home.

Finally, on Saturday, April 28, children of all ages are welcome to earn the honor of becoming a Junior Ranger. Come to the Visitor Center in Empire and pick up a free booklet. Follow the special instructions on how to become a Junior Ranger in just one day by joining in the morning and/or afternoon ranger program and then, at 3:00 p.m., assemble in the Visitor Center for a huge swearing in/badge ceremony. There will be light refreshments served and prizes for all.

For more information about the schedule or other Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore activities, please call the Visitor Center at 231-326-5134.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Empire, MI 49630


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