DCR Will Waive Parking Fees at All State Parks to Welcome the Girl Scouts
In continuation of its work to build the next generation of park stewards, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced that the agency will welcome Girl Scouts to state parks across the Commonwealth this weekend as a part of the annual Girl Scouts Love State Parks national initiative. For the fifth year, DCR, in partnership with the Girl Scouts Councils of Massachusetts, will provide free programs for Girl Scouts to assist in earning their nature-based badges. Additionally, in honor of the Girl Scouts, DCR will waive parking fees for all visitors at all of the agency’s parks across the state on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10.
“DCR is thrilled to once again partner with the Girl Scouts to provide targeted programming to help Scouts earn their merit badges,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “Programs like the Girl Scouts Love State Parks enable us to foster the next generation of stewards by providing opportunities for our young people to learn from our dedicated DCR staff and experience our state’s incredible natural, cultural and recreational resources. We’re excited to see the Girl Scouts in our parks this weekend.”
“We love partnering with DCR every year to put on the Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend; it’s such a great way to kick off the year for our troops,” said Betsy Calkins, Director of Program, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. “This year we have over 200 youth and adult Girl Scouts and their families heading out into many great Massachusetts State Parks, participating in a wide range of activities led by the DCR park rangers from learning about pollinators, to ponding, to exploring George’s Island. We know this helps them make connections to their local parks that last all year long.”
DCR is offering 19 programs at 15 state parks for Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend. The programs are designed for the Scouts to earn their Eco Friend Brownie badge and the Eco Camper Junior Badge and other nature-based badges. Scouts are also welcome to participate in any interpretive programs offered at DCR parks statewide. To register and for Girl Scout specific program descriptions visit the program listings, capacity limits and are noted. For other interpretive programming visit the agency’s website.
All children participating in programming must be accompanied by an adult. DCR is encouraging Girl Scouts and their families who are participating in the programming to wear sturdy footgear and dress in layers for maximum comfort; bring water and snacks along with a map and cell phone Girl Scouts should wear their uniform, sash or other Girl Scout apparel. Seasonal weather such as heavy rains and storms affect parks and trails. All events, programs and activities are subject to change with weather. Please call ahead to confirm programs will run as planned.
Programs that are part of Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend include:
Growing for Pollinators! on Sunday, September 10 from 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle, where participants will learn about the ways DCR works to provide a healthy habitat for pollinators, a native plant garden and no-mow zones, which also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program intended for all ages and can accommodate 25 people (children and adults) total.
Bingo Adventure on Saturday, September 9 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Fall River Heritage State Park, where the Girl Scouts Southeastern New England (GSSNE) receive a bingo card and that can be filled out through guided activities with park staff or self-led discovery at the park.
Brownie Eco Friend at Wachusett Mountain on Saturday, September 9, from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at Wachusett Mountain State Reservation in Princeton where Brownies can complete several requirements for the Brownie Eco Friend badge, including learning from park rangers and interpretive staff and going on a hike to learn how to practice the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.
For a full list of all programs DCR is offering for through the initiative please click here