Community invited to July 12 grand opening ceremony
Clackamas County Parks, Oregon Parks Forever and the Kids in Parks program invite local children, families and community members to celebrate the grand opening of TRACK Trails in Metzler Park and Eagle Fern Park. The partners will host a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, July 12 at 10 a.m. at the Metzler Park trailhead, behind the ranger station at 24526 S. Metzler Park Road in Estacada.
TRACK Trails are a type of environmental scavenger hunt for young children and their families to get unplugged and active outdoors, offering a series of self-guided activities that turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled, discovery-packed adventure. Each trail will have four brochures available that help kids learn about topics such as birds, trees, flowers, ferns and animal tracks. The trails also provide families with multiple opportunities to learn about the natural, cultural and historical resources at each site.
Kids who participate in the program can register their TRACK Trail adventures online to earn a series of prizes designed to make their next outdoor adventure even more fun and meaningful. Since the program’s inception, children have completed more than 1 million TRACK Trail adventures.
Oregon Parks Forever has set a goal of funding 50 TRACK Trails across the state of Oregon. These trails, plus a disc golf trail, join trails already established in Madras, Prineville and LaGrande. Trails in Dallas and Newport will join the system later this summer.
“With each of our TRACK Trails, we hope to engage children in the joys of outdoor exploration,” said Jason Urroz, director of Kids in Parks. “Our ultimate goal is to help families fall in love with nature, so they can recognize the value our parks and public lands hold for their lives.”
“We’re very excited about our partnership with Kids in Parks and Oregon Parks Forever to bring additional recreation opportunities to the families of Clackamas County,” said county parks operations supervisor Mark Shaw. “Getting youths engaged and active in their local county parks is one of the most important things we can do. This opportunity also came at an opportune time, aligning with hundreds of hours of volunteer work put in by Trail Keepers of Oregon repairing and building trails. Participants will be walking across some of the best trails in the local area, while logging miles as part of the Track Trails Program.”
“We are glad to arrange funding for the growing network of TRACK Trail locations in Oregon,” said Seth Miller, executive director of Oregon Parks Forever. “Our mission is to enhance the experience and accessibility of Oregon’s Parks & Forests, and this is an important project for us.”