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Stewardship and Service: A Maryland Park Ranger’s Life Erik Ledbetter Seasonal Park Ranger Seneca Creek State Park.

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Presentation on theme: "Stewardship and Service: A Maryland Park Ranger’s Life Erik Ledbetter Seasonal Park Ranger Seneca Creek State Park."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stewardship and Service: A Maryland Park Ranger’s Life Erik Ledbetter Seasonal Park Ranger Seneca Creek State Park

2 Your Maryland Park Service Founded in 1906, the Parks and Forest Services are among Maryland’s oldest State agencies. Founded in 1906, the Parks and Forest Services are among Maryland’s oldest State agencies. Maryland was a leader among the states in establishing a program of forest conservation, and out of that forest conservation initiative, Maryland’s system of state parks emerged almost immediately. Maryland was a leader among the states in establishing a program of forest conservation, and out of that forest conservation initiative, Maryland’s system of state parks emerged almost immediately.

3 The Birth of Maryland Parks In 1906, philanthropist brothers John and Robert Garrett challenged the state to establish a forestry program by donating nearly 2000 tree-stripped acres of land in Garrett County to the state on the condition that the state establish the governmental machinery to promote wise use of forest resources. In 1906, philanthropist brothers John and Robert Garrett challenged the state to establish a forestry program by donating nearly 2000 tree-stripped acres of land in Garrett County to the state on the condition that the state establish the governmental machinery to promote wise use of forest resources. At that time, Maryland’s tree cover had been reduced from nearly 90 percent of its land surface when the first colonists arrived to a paltry 35 percent. At that time, Maryland’s tree cover had been reduced from nearly 90 percent of its land surface when the first colonists arrived to a paltry 35 percent. Maryland was running out of wood, losing wildlife habitat, suffering the ravages of erosion and stream siltation, and being scourged by unchecked forest fires. Maryland was running out of wood, losing wildlife habitat, suffering the ravages of erosion and stream siltation, and being scourged by unchecked forest fires.

4 1906: A New Beginning The state legislature responded with Maryland’s first forestry law, which Governor Edwin Warfield signed into law on April 5, The state legislature responded with Maryland’s first forestry law, which Governor Edwin Warfield signed into law on April 5, Maryland was thus the third state in the union, preceded by Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to establish a statewide forestry program. Maryland was thus the third state in the union, preceded by Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to establish a statewide forestry program.

5 Fred Besley: Maryland’s First Forester Fred Besley: Maryland’s First Forester Governor Warfield appointed an able young forester working for the U.S. Forest Service, Fred W. Besley, who would serve as Maryland’s first State Forester from 1906 until Governor Warfield appointed an able young forester working for the U.S. Forest Service, Fred W. Besley, who would serve as Maryland’s first State Forester from 1906 until A Yale School of Forestry trained protégé of Gifford Pinchot, first U.S. Forester, Besley proved to be an able and energetic choice. A Yale School of Forestry trained protégé of Gifford Pinchot, first U.S. Forester, Besley proved to be an able and energetic choice.

6 Volunteers and Parks: Partners from the First Among Besley’s first acts was to create a staff of over 300 volunteer forest wardens to reduce the incidence of forest fires and fight fires when they occurred. Among Besley’s first acts was to create a staff of over 300 volunteer forest wardens to reduce the incidence of forest fires and fight fires when they occurred. Volunteers have been partners in our parks and forests ever since. Volunteers have been partners in our parks and forests ever since.

7 Your Maryland Parks Today Today, Maryland's system of 66 state parks provides over 300,000 acres of public lands. Today, Maryland's system of 66 state parks provides over 300,000 acres of public lands. Eleven million visitors come to these valuable resources each year and contribute over $650 million in economic activity to the state’s economy. Eleven million visitors come to these valuable resources each year and contribute over $650 million in economic activity to the state’s economy. There is a state forest or park within 20 miles of every state resident. There is a state forest or park within 20 miles of every state resident.

8 Our Mission To manage the natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources to provide the best use for the benefit of people To manage the natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources to provide the best use for the benefit of people

9 Seneca Creek State Park: Montgomery County’s Own 1951: Montgomery County Council approves a proposal to “establish a 1000 acre State Park” along the Potomac River to protect the Seneca Creek Watershed in the county Master Plan 1951: Montgomery County Council approves a proposal to “establish a 1000 acre State Park” along the Potomac River to protect the Seneca Creek Watershed in the county Master Plan Concept includes soil and water conservation and recreation as major uses. Concept includes soil and water conservation and recreation as major uses.

10 Seneca Creek State Park: Montgomery County’s Own 1955: State acquires 255 acres of Woodlands estate, including historic Clopper Mill 1955: State acquires 255 acres of Woodlands estate, including historic Clopper Mill 1964: Woodlands Homestead site added to Park. Early uses include picnicking and wilderness camping. 1964: Woodlands Homestead site added to Park. Early uses include picnicking and wilderness camping present: Park grows to its full 13 mile extent, from Rt. 355 in the east to the Potomac in the west present: Park grows to its full 13 mile extent, from Rt. 355 in the east to the Potomac in the west.

11 Seneca Creek State Park: Recreational Resources Clopper Lake: 90-acre lake; canoes, kayaks and rowboats available for rent, launch ramp for private boats (no motors please!), excellent fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie. Clopper Lake: 90-acre lake; canoes, kayaks and rowboats available for rent, launch ramp for private boats (no motors please!), excellent fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie.

12 Seneca Creek State Park: Recreational Resources Recycled Tire Playground Recycled Tire Playground

13 Seneca Creek State Park: Recreational Resources 27-hole Disc Golf course, largest in Mid- Atlantic States 27-hole Disc Golf course, largest in Mid- Atlantic States

14 Seneca Creek State Park: Recreational Resources Hiking Trails: 50+ mile trail network, including new Seneca Bluffs and Seneca Ridge Trails Hiking Trails: 50+ mile trail network, including new Seneca Bluffs and Seneca Ridge Trails

15 Seneca Creek State Park: Recreational Resources Mountian Biking: 16 miles of dedicated mountain bike trails at Schaeffer Farms unit Mountian Biking: 16 miles of dedicated mountain bike trails at Schaeffer Farms unit

16 Seneca Creek State Park: Recreational Resources Picnic groves and Picnic Pavilions Picnic groves and Picnic Pavilions

17 Seneca Creek State Park: Historical Resources Woodlands: Archeological remains of Clopper/Hutton Family plantation Woodlands: Archeological remains of Clopper/Hutton Family plantation

18 Seneca Creek State Park: Historical Resources Clopper Mill and Black Rock Mill Clopper Mill and Black Rock Mill

19 Seneca Creek State Park: Historical Resources Seneca Stone Cutting Mill and Schoolhouse Seneca Stone Cutting Mill and Schoolhouse

20 Seneca Creek State Park: Natural Resources Preservation of Regional Water Quality Preservation of Regional Water Quality

21 Seneca Creek State Park: Natural Resources Wildlife Habitat Wildlife Habitat

22 Seneca Creek State Park: Natural Resources Agricultural and pasture land Agricultural and pasture land

23 A Maryland Park Ranger’s Job A Maryland Ranger devotes professional responsibility for stewardship and protection of Maryland’s natural and historic resources. In carrying out that duty, a Ranger incorporates education, enforcement, management, conservation, or some combination of these skills in regular interaction with the public. A Maryland Ranger devotes professional responsibility for stewardship and protection of Maryland’s natural and historic resources. In carrying out that duty, a Ranger incorporates education, enforcement, management, conservation, or some combination of these skills in regular interaction with the public.

24 A Ranger’s Life: Education We are a diverse group! Maryland Rangers have academic backgounds in Parks and Recreation, Biology, Conservation, History, Archeology, and many more fields. We are a diverse group! Maryland Rangers have academic backgounds in Parks and Recreation, Biology, Conservation, History, Archeology, and many more fields. In-Service Training: In-Service Training: Emergency Medical Response/ CPR and AED Emergency Medical Response/ CPR and AED Search and Rescue Search and Rescue Water Rescue Water Rescue Wildland Firefighting Wildland Firefighting Tree care / Chainsaw Operation Tree care / Chainsaw Operation Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance

25 A Ranger’s Life: Operations Check Park facilities for safety/cleanliness Check Park facilities for safety/cleanliness Respond to weather emergencies Respond to weather emergencies Snow/ice Snow/ice Floods Floods Wind damage/downed trees Wind damage/downed trees Greet visitors, provide advice and information Greet visitors, provide advice and information Educate visitors as to Park policies and encourage compliance Educate visitors as to Park policies and encourage compliance

26 A Ranger’s Life: Maintenance We are universal handymen and women! We are universal handymen and women! In an average day we might: In an average day we might: Fix a restroom plumbing problem Fix a restroom plumbing problem Repair a leaking kayak Repair a leaking kayak Cut up a fallen tree Cut up a fallen tree Maintain a trail Maintain a trail And much much more! And much much more!

27 A Ranger’s Life: Interpretation Boat tours Boat tours Nature Walks Nature Walks History Hikes History Hikes Lectures and Public Outreach Lectures and Public Outreach Live Animal programs Live Animal programs

28 We Need You! Volunteers have been partners in our parks from the beginning: remember Fred Besley’s Forest Wardens! Volunteers have been partners in our parks from the beginning: remember Fred Besley’s Forest Wardens! We have a role for every age and skill. We have a role for every age and skill.

29 Volunteer Opportunities Trail Maintenance Trail Maintenance Gardening Gardening Planning / Staffing Special Events Planning / Staffing Special Events Photography Photography Conducting Historical Research Conducting Historical Research Tree Planting Tree Planting Building Bird Boxes Building Bird Boxes Sign Making Sign Making Carpentry Work Carpentry Work Historic Interpreter / Docent Historic Interpreter / Docent Registering Campers Registering Campers Mowing Mowing Leading Canoe Trips Leading Canoe Trips Painting Painting Leading Nature Hikes Leading Nature Hikes Desktop Publishing Desktop Publishing Computer work Computer work Visitor Center Receptionist Visitor Center Receptionist Sign Language Interpreter Sign Language Interpreter Volunteer Coordinator Volunteer Coordinator Presenting Campfire programs Presenting Campfire programs General Maintenance / Repairs General Maintenance / Repairs Organizing slide and photograph files Organizing slide and photograph files Historical Interpretation Historical Interpretation Assisting in development of trail maps, brochures, etc. Assisting in development of trail maps, brochures, etc.

30 Opportunities for Youth Student Service Learning Student Service Learning Maryland Conservation Corps Maryland Conservation Corps Conservation Jobs Corps Conservation Jobs Corps

31 So Come Join Us! volunteer.asp volunteer.asp


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