GET TO KNOW YOUR JUNIOR PARK RANGERS!
Part of Kyler’s job is to make sure no one gets lost in the park. Do you know why he’s so good at reading maps and finding his way on a trail, at a campsite, or in the wilderness? Because, once, when he was little, he got SO LOST in all the underground tunnels of his prairie dog town, he ended up in a completely different town on the other side of the nearby road! He remembers how scared he was, and how he never wanted anyone else to be that scared! Ever since then, he always makes sure to study maps, learn plant and animal species, and memorize trail routes. He loves to get to know new parks, draw maps, and help other people find their way too. That’s part of what makes him such a great Junior Park Ranger!
Gianna does not like to stop moving for even a second. Even though she’s super friendly, sometimes it’s hard to have a conversation with her—unless you can keep up! When she’s not looking out for the visitors who swim in the park, she and her best friend Madison are keeping tabs on all the aquatic wildlife in the area. One thing you should know about Gianna is that there are very few of her species left in the world. That’s why Gianna takes her job as a Junior Park Ranger so seriously: All life on this planet is important to her.
Watch your cupcake! If you turn your back for a second, Jaden might steal it! Sometimes his sneaky side has benefits. Like the time he and Lyla were able to round up some wily moss thieves. When he and Lyla patrol together, they are so silent, no one hears them coming. Nabbing rule-breakers and invasive species is Jaden’s favorite part of the job. Sometimes he gets a little carried away, though: When a giant rodent called a nutria was released in the park, Jaden found it and did a victory dance before he chased it back to the ranger station.
Since Lyla is the only ranger to spend a lot of time in the treetops, she knows a lot of things the rangers on the ground don’t know. A library on wings: That’s Lyla. If there’s a problem in the park, Lyla will perch on a low branch to talk with the other Junior Park Rangers until they figure out what to do. The biggest problem Lyla ever tackled was tracking down and capturing some hornets who didn’t belong in the park! Even though she loves her fellow rangers, she prefers being alone during the quiet nights, flying under the moon and diving through the branches of trees.
Squid cookies? You betcha! Madison loves to bake her favorite food into pizza, lasagna, and even the very special cakes she makes for friends on their birthdays! If you think that sounds gross, Madison is happy to tell you all about how nutritious squid is, and how it’s one of the more sustainable seafoods out there. Madison is positive and always cheerful, but she does get upset when people don’t take care of the world around them. She just wants you and all the plants and animals around her to have a great day; in the end, that’s the best kind of friend to have.
Just because Tanaya spends most of her waking hours studying rocks, that doesn’t mean she won’t make time for people or her fellow Junior Park Rangers. You can always count on Tanaya to help out when you have a problem or when you’ve had a bad day. Just be sure to give her some alone time. Part of the reason she’s such a good friend is that she pays attention to quiet things like grasshoppers, ants, trees, and soil. Tortoises like Tanaya sense a lot of things through vibrations, which means that when Tanaya’s friends talk, she actually feels what they’re saying!
He’s a lizard! He’s a gecko! No, actually, Junior Park Ranger Bradley is a rough-skinned NEWT. He loves being a newt because the word NEWT sounds like NEWTON, which is the force (energy!) needed to get an object MOVING. And Bradley has a unique way of getting things going! But don’t be fooled: Just because Bradley can disappear before you say Go!, he loves to take time to hang out with his best friend Kyler and all the other Junior Park Rangers, especially if there are redwood cookies and salmonberry pie involved. (Here’s a secret: Bradley will never admit it, but he SOMETIMES takes short power naps, and if you look super carefully, you might find him snoring under a tuft of moss.)
If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Good things come in small packages,” that’s Kiara. This western gray squirrel may be small, but she has enough energy to play soccer and basketball all day. Her favorite thing to do is to leap from tree to tree, making up raps and checking on all the treetop insects. One thing about Kiara is that her eyes are bigger than her stomach! You’ll often find her holding a giant candied pine cone in her paws, trying to stuff the whole thing in her mouth at once. She also likes ube crinkle cookies with extra powdered sugar. Kiara loves to crack jokes and make armpit noises, but when there’s a real problem, she’s the first to get serious and come up with a plan!