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The Parklands offers two new programs, promotes exploration, community comaraderie

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Rain, shine and freezing temperatures are no match for Parklands Explorers. Following the first month of this new exploration program offered at The Parklands of Floyds Fork, nearly 30 individuals have covered dozens of miles. A lone participant has checked all three January hikes off her list, braving temperatures just above zero to hike the Bullfrog Crossing trail Jan. 7.

Parklands Explorer is one of two new programs developed by Parklands interpretive staff to promote exploration of the parks, community and camaraderie among park users. It also encourages Louisville residents to get outside and active throughout the year, no matter the weather.

“In the park world, we believe in the dictum ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear,’” said Parks Director Scott Martin. “Each season offers visitors a front row seat to nature’s special events, like the Salamander Migration in February and March as well as the arrival of exotic birds in the spring. With these introductory hikes, we hope that visitors will gain the confidence to explore more areas of The Parklands from January through December.”

Through the Parklands Explorer program, Louisville residents of all ages can conquer all 47 miles of hiking and biking trails on foot (and a few on two wheels). Participants can select which dates to attend or challenge themselves to attend every adventure. Hikes in the Parklands Explorer program are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Register at www.theparklands.org/events.

Families interested in programming for kids ages 5-12 can also consider joining Junior Explorer, which teaches science and an appreciation for the natural world. After completing the Junior Explorer Guidebook (found online at www.theparklands.org/explore), kids are sworn in as Junior Explorers and invited to join Parklands Interpretive Rangers for monthly adventures hosted at various locations in The Parklands.

The next Junior Explorer Adventure is at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ben Stout House in Turkey Run Park. Junior Explorer Adventures are free to Parklands members and $5 to non-members. Register and learn more at www.theparklands.org/events.

For more information on Parklands Explorer, Junior Explorer and other programs and events at The Parklands, contact Anna Rosales-Crone at (502) 815-0267 or acrone@21cparks.org.