Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts Going 'Green'
Families who visit the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Williamsport, Md., find that the forested campground is green in more ways than one.
The park not only has several onsite recycling centers for aluminum cans, paper and cardboard. It also provides boxes for recyclable waste inside each rental cabin, according to a news release.
“We give our recycled materials to Goodwill and to a local nonprofit center for people with special needs,” said Carrie Cerrito, the park’s general manager.
Meanwhile, at the Jellystone Park in Fremont, Ind., solar heating is used to provide supplemental heating for outdoor swimming pools, while the Jellystone Park in Larkspur, Colo. has integrated a goat ranch into its operations for fire mitigation and guest education purposes.
But the green initiatives underway at Jellystone Parks aren’t limited to recycling programs and infrastructure improvements. Many Jellystone Parks are also developing nature-focused activity and education programs.
“Across the U.S. and Canada, growing numbers of Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts are complementing their green initiatives with activity and education programs that encourage children and adults alike to take better care of the environment,” said Michele Wisher, director of marketing for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks across North America.
The 79-unit family campground chain was the first campground organization in the U.S. to join Leave No Trace, a Boulder, Colo.-based non-profit organization that develops educational programs to help children and adults take better care of the environment.
Leave No Trace provides Jellystone Park operators with information on how to develop their own nature education programs, which park operators can tailor to suit their guests’ interests. Here is a sampling of some of the nature oriented activities taking place at Jellystone Parks across North America this spring, summer and fall:
- Amherstburg, Ont. (Detroit Market): This park offers a morning nature walk each morning after the park’s Yogi Yoga session.
- Austin, Minn.: This park recycles water bottles for use in arts and crafts activities. The park also has a junior ranger program filled with nature-focused activities. On Mother’s Day, children also planted a flower garden for Cindy Bear.
- Bloomington, Ind.: This park offers daily nature hikes. WildCare Inc., an organization dedicated to rehabilitating and taking in injured and orphaned animals from around Monroe County, is also bringing in three of their ambassadors to teach campers about responsible wildlife interactions and what to do if they find an injured animal in their own backyard.
- Bradford, Ont. (Toronto Market): This park offers a weekly nature walk and scavenger hunt followed by a nature craft activity.
- Fremont, Ind.: This park has nature focused scavenger hunts, craft activities involving recycled materials and Leave No Trace activities.
- Indian River, Mich.: This park offers nature crafts; nature hikes; bug hunts; and pond exploration activities. This fall, the park will also offer Northern Michigan Safaris to give campers the ability to spot as many different types of wildlife as possible.
- Larkspur, Colo.: This park has a goat ranch integrated into the operations of the campground with daily opportunities for campers to feed and pet the goats. Other nature oriented activities include brushing a miniature horse; collecting eggs from the chicken coop; and preparing the campground’s gardens. The campground also has an observation bee hive and displays on bee keeping, the history of bees and the importance of bees.