A Ranger Story
Getting Wild in the City
It doesn't require a cross-country trip to get to one of the crown jewels of America's national park system. Let National Park Service Ranger Dave Taft introduce you to New York Harbor's answer to Yellowstone.
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Dave Taft grew up in Canarsie where he learned to collect, trap, and study insects, fish, crabs, spiders, turtles, snakes, ferns, orchids, and other unfortunates not quick enough to escape. Thirty years later, he is still collecting, trapping and studying — but for the National Park Service. Currently, he serves as District Ranger at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Gateway National Recreation Area.
A trained artist, Mr. Taft frequently paints or draws from familiar landscapes and objects found near the park. Says Taft: "There is always something unexpected about nature in New York City. Even a simple find (such as a dead bee on a visitor center windowsill) can lead to important personal discoveries."