Hi, my name is Ranger Erin Bennett. I am the new interpretive park ranger at The Cove Palisades State Park and will be the new voice of the Cove Rattler. I am extremely excited to be here to share the park’s stories and special places with you.
By way of introduction I’d like to share a little about myself, I have worked in parks since 1995 in both California and Oregon. I am currently finishing my degree in Natural Resource Management. I have experience in wildland firefighting, law enforcement, emergency medical aid, resource and wildlife management, interpretation, noxious week removal, facility and trail maintenance, special events and volunteer projects. I am a Certified Interpretive Guide (NAI) and a nationally certified EMT. I started volunteering for Oregon State Parks in 2009 by leading Fort Rock Cave Tours and participating in the Eagle Watch program here at The Cove. I loved my last four seasons at Prineville Reservoir as the seasonal interpreter (if you haven’t visited, I urge you to go check it out!) and now I have the privilege of being part of the team here at The Cove.
“So what is interpretation?” I am often asked … Technically interpretation is defined as a mission-based process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource; while others say it’s environmental education. For me interpretation is the ability to share the importance of our cultural and historic past and the wonders of our natural world with the visitors that come to my park. It may be discovering the ancient mysteries along the Tam-A-Lau trail, sharing pioneer stories over a campfire while enjoying Dutch oven treats while the sun sets behind Mount Jefferson or exploring the park in a different light and indulging in a bat buffet (no bats are ever harmed for this program). Some of my favorite visitors are our Junior Rangers. Kids see the world differently than most adults and never cease to amaze me with their excitement at discovery, insightful questions and willingness to teach others. Interpretation also means I’m lucky enough to get to play at work!
For those of you that visit the Cove next summer the interpretive programs and special events will be a mix of old favorites and new adventures. I will be posting more specifics next spring. If you have questions, or suggestions for programs that you and your family would like to see here at the Cove, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 541-546-3412. I look forward to warm weather, meeting you all and lots and lots of fun!
Stay tuned for the next Cove Rattler post… What do high school seniors and first-graders have in common? You might be surprised!