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Erie County Parks Department continues winter activities

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Mon, Feb 24th 2020 05:25 pm

Park rangers at Chestnut Ridge & Emery Park will host 3 activities

Spring is approaching in Western New York but there are still a number of activities scheduled in Erie County Parks in the upcoming late-winter weeks. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry announced three programs designed to be recreational and informative: “Signs of Change” at Chestnut Ridge, “Winter Tree ID” at Emery Park, and “Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey and Detection Training” at Emery Park.

“From snowshoeing, to hiking, and sledding, our parks offer countless activities all winter long, regardless of the weather,” Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. “These three events illustrate how our vibrant parks system has something for everyone to enjoy every season regardless of age or physical ability. Our parks are free and open to all 365 days a year and events like these give folks a chance to appreciate the great outdoors and learn something new along the way.”

Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel said, “We know residents enjoy Emery and Chestnut Ridge, which are each vast and unique natural sanctuaries located right here in Erie County. All three of these events are great opportunities to learn about seasonal change and environmental conservation from our dedicated and knowledgeable park rangers and/or county foresters. Our residents can even help preserve and protect our beautiful hemlock forests during the ‘Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Detection Training.’ ”

The late winter schedule is:

•Saturday, Feb. 29, 10 a.m. – Chestnut Ridge Park (casino): Spring may feel like a long way off, but things are slowly beginning to change. Ranger Chuck will identify signs of the coming spring with participants. Bring a pack and water, dress for the weather, and be prepared to walk for about two hours.

•Saturday, March 7, 10 a.m. – Emery Park (ski lodge parking lot): Erie County Park Ranger Roy will show participants how to identify tree species when the leaves have fallen. They will look at a few different ways to distinguish trees in the forest with different clues. Wear winter boots and dress for the weather.

•Saturday, March 14, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Emery Park (fieldhouse): The Eastern Hemlock tree is a vitally important tree species on which entire ecosystems depend. These trees are under attack from the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an invasive, aphid-like insect. The early detection of emerging infestations is a way to prevent the spread of HWA. This will feature an indoor education event, then participants will venture outside to learn to survey for and identify HWA in the field. Questions can be directed to WNY PRISM at [email protected] or by calling 716-878-4708.

Participants are reminded to wear appropriate footwear, bring plenty of water, and dress for the weather.

In case of bad weather, call the Parks Department at 716-858-8355 prior to going out to ensure scheduled walks will commence as planned. Visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/.

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