9 Reasons to Discover the Power of Parks this Summer!

All this summer, a group of passionate and inspired Interpretive Rangers will bring a series of nature-based programs to our parks! These programs are offered free to our guests with paid park admission so take the opportunity to try one (or many) of these programs when you camp, swim or hike at a New Hampshire State Park this season.

The Discover Power of Parks Programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire’s natural heritage. Starting the last weekend in June, Interpretive Rangers from the Student Conservation Association will present informative and entertaining programs for children and families. Programs will cover subjects such as native animals, constellations, edible plants and include activities like ponding, interpretive tours, night hikes, stargazing and campfire sing-alongs!

Below is a schedule of parks/days these programs will be offered this summer:

Park Programming Schedule

State Park Days (late June – Labor Day)
Bear Brook Friday-Saturday-Sunday
Clough Saturday
Crawford Notch Saturday & Sunday
Echo Lake Friday
Ellacoya Wednesday night/ Thursday
Franconia Notch Sunday – Saturday
Greenfield Wednesday – Saturday
Hampton Beach/Seacoast Wednesday & Thursday
Kingston Friday
Monadnock Sunday
Moose Brook Friday evening
Pawtuckaway Wednesday – Sunday
Silver Lake Sunday
Umbagog Lake Wednesday – Sunday
Wentworth Wednesday
White Lake Wednesday – Sunday

More about the 2016 Interpretive Rangers

Jamie Samdahl – White Lake State Park Interpreter

Jamie Samdahl - Interpretive Ranger at White Lake State Park
Jamie Samdahl – from Princeton, MA, attended Smith where she became a prolific writer. Jamie’s parents, who are ornithologists, took her birding as a young child. She looks forward to sharing this knowledge with park visitors. As the 2016 SCA New Hampshire Corps White Lake Interpreter Jamie is excited to connect with the residents of the area as she brings parks to people and people to parks in outreach season. Through Discover the Power of Parks Jamie hopes to intertwine local history in her programs on loons, native animals, and constellations.

Darren Lu – Southern Rover (Seacoast, Kingston, Clough, Silver Lake and Bear Brook State Park)

Darren Lu - Interpretive Ranger at Kingston, Clough, Silver Lake, Bear Brook and the Seacoast.
Darren Lu – a political science and geography double major at Berkley, comes to the SCA New Hampshire Corps from sunny Southern California. As the 2016 Discover the Power of Parks Southern Rover, Darren is excited to conduct interpretive programming at the Seacoast, Kingston, Clough, Silver Lake, and Bear Brook State Parks. He is excited to see how he can mold a set of programs into unique and special presentations for each park. Darren is most excited to become acquainted with the parks and the people that visit them.

Katie Steketee – Seacoast and Bear Brook State Park Interpreter

Katie Steketee - Interpretive Ranger at Bear Brook State Park and the Seacoast
Katie Steketee – from Long Island, went to Coastal Carolina University where she fell in love with ecology and learned a lot about coastal ecosystems. She will be the 2016 SCA New Hampshire Corps Interpretive Ranger serving the seacoast and Bear Brook. During the Discover the Power of Parks season she is excited to utilize her coastal book learning to impart some knowledge on park goers. She is also excited to find the hidden gems at Bear Brook State Park and share them with program participants.

Jessie Paulson – Franconia Notch State Park Interpreter

Jessie Paulson - Interpretive Ranger at Franconia Notch State Park
Jessie Paulson – from Charlestown NH, was a Ram at Colorado State where she earned a degree in Wildlife Management. Last summer she was a bear technician for the State of NH and is excited to utilize this knowledge as the 2016 SCA New Hampshire Interpretive Ranger at Franconia Notch State Park. During her time at Franconia Jessie hopes to inform the park patrons about human and wildlife conflicts, such as conflicts with black bears, and how to mitigate these issues.

Jake Morel – Northern Rover (Wentworth, Ellacoya, Echo Lake, Moose Brook and Crawford Notch State Parks)

Jake Morel - Interpretive Ranger at Ellacoya, Echo Lake, Moose Brook, Crawford Notch
Jake Morel – from New Hampton, NH, is a recent graduate from Keene State College with a Major in Geography. Jake will be the 2016 SCA New Hampshire Corps Northern Rover headed to Wentworth, Ellacoya, Echo Lake, Moose Brook, and Crawford Notch each week during the Discover the Power of Parks Interpretive Ranger Season. During Outreach Jake will head to Monadnock eager to assist hikers. Jake is looking forward to traveling to these parks and inspiring interest in the recreational opportunities while connecting individuals to nature.

Rachel Munro – Pawtuckaway State Park Interpreter

Rachel Munro - Interpretive Ranger at Pawtuckaway State Park.
Rachel Munro – from the Atlanta, Georgia area, comes to the SCA New Hampshire Corps after having been an Environmental Educator/Interpreter at the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska. She is excited to be the 2016 Interpretive Ranger at Pawtuckaway State Park. During the Discover the Power of the Parks Season she is excited to camp and teach visitors about wildlife and edible plants.

Donny Palumbo – Umbagog Lake State Park Interpreter

Donny Palumbo - Interpretive Ranger at Umbagog Lake State Park
Donny Plumbo – from CT, is a Graduate of Southern Connecticut State with a major in communication. Donny will be the 2016 SCA New Hampshire Corps Umbagog Lake Interpretive Ranger. Donny is excited to engage with, explore, and meet all that the North Country has to offer. During the 2016 Discover the Power of Parks and Outreach Seasons Donny is excited to reach out to the community and get more individuals excited about and visiting the park. He is also interested in delving into the nature of Bald Eagles and disseminating that information to visitors.

Natalie Strickland – Greenfield and Monadnock State Park Interpreter

Natalie Strickland - Interpretive Ranger at Greenfield and Monadnock State Parks
Natalie Strickland – from NC, became enamored with conservation work through trail crews. She did her first trail crew with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps in NC. Since then has wanted to learn all about the different career paths one can take in the conservation field. Natalie will be the 2016 SCA New Hampshire Corps Greenfield and Monadnock State Parks Interpretive Ranger. During the Discover the Power of Parks season she is excited to divulge Greenfields’ secret spots and stargaze with visitors. During outreach at Monadnock she would like to share her knowledge of leave no trace and hike safe with park patrons.

Jillian Mather – Franconia Notch State Park Interpreter

Jillian Mather - Interpretive Ranger at Franconia Notch State Park
Jillian Mather – hailing from CT, went to Georgia Southern University where she is finishing a degree in recreation and tourism. Jillian will be the 2016 SCA New Hampshire Corps Visitor Services Interpretive Ranger at Franconia Notch State Park. She is looking forward to heading to a place she has frequented a lot since childhood and help visitors enjoy their experiences there as much as she has. During the Discover the Power of Parks Season Jillian would really like to do interpretive programs on owls and get people excited to hike and climb all of the 4,000 footers.

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association. The Discover the Power of Parks program is made possible by generous financial support from Eversource.

Come try a program this summer and Discover the Power of Parks!


Grant Klene

Digital Marketing Manager for New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation

2 thoughts on “9 Reasons to Discover the Power of Parks this Summer!

  1. My husband, daughter and I met Jake Morel, Interpretive Ranger, at Wentworth State Park / Wolfeboro NH Wednesday, July 13, 2016. He was friendly, engaging and so interesting and easy to talk with. After a long conversation, I sat down with him and discussed “Claws, Paws, Oohs and Aahs”; two (2) younger children and their parents also joined us. With so many programs being cut these days, we were delighted to learn of the 2016 “Discover the Power of Parks” program. I have been a friend of Wentworth State Park for 51 years — since I was 5 years old! I remember the days of the diving platform, see-saw, shuffleboard game. lifeguards, candy machine and Park Rangers in uniform. Although many things have changed, Wentworth State Park has not lost her charm. My husband, daughter and I visit the Park as much as we can in the Summer. I still get just as excited about the trip as I did when I was a young girl. My daughter and I are known as “The Glass Ladies” because every time we visit, as soon as we set up, we grab a plastic bag and walk the shore one end to the other looking for pieces of glass that have washed ashore, as well as any other litter. Some of the items we have found other than pieces of glass are very old nails, a lure, cigarette butts, plastic wrappers, Styrofoam cups, aluminum cans, etc. During our visit, if any of us see litter, no matter how small, we pick it up. And before we leave, we make one final sweep of the Park to be sure she makes a good impression for tomorrow’s visitors. We love and respect Wentworth State Park. She has given us so much happiness over the years, helping keep her looking her best is the least we can do. We like to think that we are helping out the Park Rangers by doing our little part. The next time you visit Wentworth State Park, take a look at the Bulletin Board near the restrooms where you’ll find a story I wrote about what Wentworth State Park means to mean. As the Lorax says: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better; it’s not.”

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