Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Erie County Parks Department announces full season of ranger programs, return of 'Pints in the Park'

Mon, Apr 15th 2024 12:45 pm

Nature walks, hikes, more all on tap

Submitted by the Press Secretary to the County Executive

The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry has announced a full schedule of activities for 2024 including numerous ranger walks and hikes in the park ranger program, along with the return of the popular “Pints in the Park” series.

Ranger events are happening weekly and offer free, easy ways for families and individuals to observe and learn about the nature, wildlife and geology of Erie County parks while enjoying time outdoors. Hosted by Resurgence Brewing Company along with 42North Brewing company, the “Pints in the Park” partnership returns for 2024 with events rotating between four of the county’s heritage parks.

“Erie County parks are a natural jewel that’s right here for everyone to enjoy and explore year-round. Our parks are free, accessible, and in great shape following millions of dollars of investments,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “The park ranger program gives families an opportunity to learn more about our parks from one of our rangers. It is a tremendous way to stimulate children’s fascination with nature, including their ‘residents,’ and is a good way to spend time outdoors.”

The 2024 park ranger program kicked off Sunday at Sprague Brook Park with “Pre-Pollywog Journey: Amphibian Egg ID.” The group was led by Ranger Stephanie in exploring vernal pools and discussing the differences between amphibian eggs, as well as discussing how amphibians grow up.

Still ahead in this year’s park ranger program:

•Bioblitz for Earth Day, Chestnut Ridge Park, Sunday, April 21. Immerse yourself in nature this Earth Day with a scenic hike at Chestnut Ridge Park, where you can use your smartphone to contribute to conservation efforts. Explore lush woodlands and rolling hills while aiding in the preservation of local flora and fauna. Join Ranger Adam on April 21 for an ecofriendly adventure that connects you to nature and helps protect it for generations to come!

•Intense spring hike, Erie County Bureau of Forestry, Saturday, April 27. The Erie County Bureau of Forestry has an extensive and varied trail system, so come explore it with Ranger Roy for a 5-6-mile hike in spring conditions. We will go over some preparation and safety basics before heading out. This hike will be strenuous and challenging – not a good first hike!

•Search for spring ephemerals, Como Lake Park, Sunday, May 5. Spring ephemerals are fleeting wildflowers that bloom briefly in early spring, seizing the limited sunlight before the forest canopy shades them. Join Ranger Adam for a hike along Cayuga Creek to catch these flowers in bloom while they last!

•“Mother” nature, Akron Falls Park, Saturday, May 11. Join Ranger Leanne on a hike that will teach you the importance of Planet Earth’s many mothers in nature. We will hike and learn how female animals care and raise their young in all the different ecosystems. You do not need to be a mother to attend – this is a hike for all!

•Ellicott Creek Park history, Ellicott Creek Park, Saturday, May 18. Join Ranger Nikki for a walk in the past at Ellicott Creek Park. Starting on Ellicott Island, we will learn about the history of how the island was created and how this park came to be.

•Ranger meet and greet with smores, Sprague Brook Park, Friday, May 24. Come hangout with Ranger Greg at Sprague Brook Park and learn about the ranger program! Bring questions and Greg will try to supply answers! Roast marshmallows, talk about your favorite camping gear, learn how to start a fire and more. This is a meet and greet event, so come and go as you please.

•“Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls,” Emery Park, Sunday, June 2. Join Ranger Stephanie for some waterfall fun! We will be traveling up one of Emery’s creeks to see a cascading waterfall from a point of view that we often don’t get to see. Along the way, we will discuss aquatic invertebrates and their importance in the environment.

•“The Buffalo River: Where it was, where it is, and where it is going,” Red Jacket Park, Thursday, June 6. Head out with Ranger Nikki in one of our pocket parks to learn about the history of the Buffalo River over the years and how it has changed physically and environmentally. We will also focus on how the river influences the keystone species that dominate our area.

Each ranger walk may take one to two hours and involve different types of terrain. Learn more about what to expect and how to prepare for ranger walks by visiting https://www3.erie.gov/parks/events.

Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel said, “Our team of parks rangers works hard to make every visitor’s experience better and more educational. They are a tremendous resource for the public, and I encourage everyone to take part in at least one walk this season.”

Also returning for 2024 is the popular “Pints in the Park” series. These are fun, free, family-friendly "beer garden"-style pop-up events in parks throughout the summer. The “Pints in the Park” series complies with all Erie County and NYSLA regulations/permitting guidelines. A portion of all sales are donated to the Erie County Parks donation account to support free, public special events and programs.

The 2024 “Pints in the Parks” series schedule includes:

√ “Pints in the Park” hosted by Resurgence Brewing Company; 4-9 p.m. Friday, June 7, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at Chestnut Ridge (top of the sled hill).

√ “Pints in the Park” hosted by Resurgence Brewing Company; 4-9 p.m. Friday, June 14, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Ellicott Creek (shelter 6).

√ “Pints in the Park” hosted by 42 North & Resurgence Brewing Company; 4-9 p.m. Friday, June 21, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday June 22, at Como Lake (shelter 11).

√ “Pints in The Park” hosted by Resurgence Brewing Company; 4-9 p.m. Friday, July 26, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Chestnut Ridge (top of the sled hill).

√ “Discover Emery” hosted by 42 North Brewing Company; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Emery Park Amphitheater.

Hometown News

View All News