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Rangers explain outdoors with Discover the Parks

  • Interpretive ranger Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., teaches visitors about furbearers during a Discover the Power of Parks program at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Interpretive ranger Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., teaches visitors about furbearers during a Discover the Power of Parks program at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown on Thursday, July 13, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • Interpretive ranger Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., teaches visitors about furbearers during a Discover the Power of Parks program at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown on Thursday, July 13, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • Interpretive ranger Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., teaches visitors about furbearers during a Discover the Power of Parks program at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown on July 13. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Interpretive ranger Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., teaches visitors about furbearers during a Discover the Power of Parks program at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown on Thursday, July 13, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • Interpretive ranger Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., teaches about furbearers during a Discover the Power of Parks program at Bear Brook State Park. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Sunday, July 29, 2018

As weekend visitors to the Bear Brook State Park camp store stopped in for supplies and firewood, Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., stood behind her display table next to a big, orange banner and invited young campers to come take a look.

“Do you want to learn about furbearers?” she’d ask.

An interpretive ranger with the Student Conservation Association, Bryant, 25, was running a Discover the Power of Parks program called Furry Forensics at the Allenstown park that afternoon. As campers stroked the soft furs – some familiar, some not – Bryant talked about the different reasons the animals were hunted and the different uses for their pelts. Moving on to a display of animal tracks on the ground, she invited curious campers to name the animals represented by the imprints they might leave in the snow.

Bryant studied cultural anthropology in college and applied to the various programs before settling on a move to New Hampshire and joining the Discover the Power of Parks team.

“I’ve always loved nature and being outdoors, and I kind of wanted to learn some more of the biology side of things, and to hopefully – one of these days – become a full-time park ranger for a national park.”

She’s learned a lot this summer and is sharing some of that knowledge with visitors to Bear Brook on Fridays through Sundays through Labor Day.

Some of the nature-based programs she has offered include “Fires and Phantoms,” “I’m Ponding Away,” Happy Trails,” “Star of Wonder,” “Meet Me at the Meeting House” and “Sounds of the Night.” Discover Power of Parks colleagues are also running programs at 12 other state parks across the state.

In September and October, programs at the park will be limited but a Discover the Power of Parks team will be making appearances at libraries, schools, and various centers through Columbus Day.

There is no cost for the programs or registration requirements, but park admission fees still apply.

Park visitors who hit five or more different programs, whether at Bear Brook or at any combination of parks, can earn a Discover the Power of Parks Quest patch by filling out a form available at each program and mailing it in at the end of the summer.

Program schedules for Bear Brook and some of the other state parks can be found at discoverpowerofparks.com.