Grandfather Mountain State Park introduces new Junior Ranger Patch
Michael Hardy / (email@example.com)
Beautiful, fall-like weather greeted scores of families as they wandered around the field at the Grandfather Mountain Campground. Families could learn about honeybees from local beekeepers, about weather and climate from NASA scientists, local plants and herbs from the Gardens of the Blue Ridge and about animals from the Genesis Wildlife Rehabilitators.
Programs throughout the day included hands-on experiences with the animals and ecosystems that are a central part of Grandfather Mountain, including the wildflowers, since in 2013 the North Carolina State Parks are celebrating the Year of the Wildflower.
Volunteers also presented demonstrations on the ever-popular sport of fly-fishing, the art of campfire cooking and packing hiking essentials. Two local musical groups, the Blue Ridge Mountain Belles and the Junaluska Wildcats, kept the crowd entertained. The event included door prizes, followed by an entertaining skit by park rangers illustrating just a few of the diverse jobs that a ranger can have.
The highlight of the afternoon was the unveiling of the new Grandfather Mountain State Park Junior Ranger patch. Each of North Carolina's State Parks has its own Junior Ranger Patch, and, in order to help educate local students about the park, a contest was held at Avery High to select the design for the patch. The drawings were required to feature an endangered flying squirrel, and the entry by Avery County High School student Brandi Haney was chosen as the winner from 100 contest entries.
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