Park Alert...

Let's go on an Adventure!

March 2022

By Ranger Amy

Sticks built into fort shape in the woodsOne day I found myself in the small patch of forest by my house. My daughter was walking ahead of me, alongside the creek. She could sense my hesitation and prodded me, "Come on Mommy, let's explore!"

"Oh no, I don't fit. I can't explore, let's go back to the yard."

She looked at me, analyzed the problem, pulled aside a sprig of yaupon, and said "Now you can fit, Mommy, come on!"

It was cold out, there were no ticks or mosquitos. I was out of excuses, so I followed my daughter through the woods. She was brimming with excitement to go on an adventure. She reminded me that walks in nature should be adventurous. 

Winter adventures

Winter is the best time to go on little adventures by wandering off-trail to get long-forgotten and hard-to-reach litter. Doing this allows us to reconnect with the wild part of nature that one cannot see along a well-blazed trail.

hand holding an empty drink can and some plastic trashI'm usually picking up old pull-top cans long ago used as target practice, but then I come across things that make my nature-loving heart sing.

I love to glide my hands over the perfectly imperfect bark of trees that I've never met before, their trunks unmarked and untouched by humans. One day I saw bluegill fish swim into the deep area of a slough that I didn't think had any fish. I've found several long-dead turtle shells, one nibbled on by a predator.

iron cable on the forest floorI was surprised to find long threads of steel cable scattered in the leaf litter, abandoned in the woods by loggers long before this land was a park.

My favorite discoveries are forts made by children. This winter I found a wonderful fort hidden in the woods near one of the campgrounds. 

Making memories

Partially destroyed turtle shellI love that the children camping here are making new friends, wandering through the woods, and going on adventures. They are learning to be social and creative, and making memories that will last a lifetime.

These children are future stewards. Their love for nature will help them throughout their life and they will grow up knowing the importance of preserving our public lands.

Park employees care for the parks, but they're your parks, your public lands. Our goal is that many generations of families and children will enjoy the parks and make happy memories.

What are you waiting for - it's time to go on an adventure!