Park Ranger Staff Canoe Training and Certification at Radnor Lake State Natural Area
The park ranger staff at Radnor Lake State Natural Area recenty completed two days of canoe instruction on August 6th and 7th through American Canoe Association instructors at Radnor Lake State Natural Area. The ranger staff were instructed in idenifying various lake and river features, hydrology, paddling techniques, trip planning, and basic rescue techniques. In addition, the ranger staff learned how to properly launch and land canoes with float participants, how to empty a flipped canoe, aid floaters in re-entering a swamped canoe, and multiple other skills over these two days of training. Rangers were also required to pass a written exam, to demonstrate proper paddling techniques, and basic rescue skills at the end of the training which is resulting in the entire ranger staff achieving a new level of certification in this area.
Amerian Canoe Association instructors Jim McCool, James “Woody” Woodall, and Charlie Wilkerson have over fifty years of combined canoe, kayak, and swiftwater rescue experience between the three paddlers. They are all members and have served in leadership roles in Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association. They have provided canoe and kayak river sport and rescue training to literally hundreds of paddlers, and also to TN State Park, and National Park Service Rangers, TWRA personnel to multiple mid-state fire department, sheriff’s department, and other first responder personnel over the years. They have worked with park management numerous times over the past 12 years providing basic and advanced Swiftwater Rescue Certification for the ranger staff at Radnor Lake.
Thank you Jim, Woody and Charlie for the two days of instruction and for your time!
While the park ranger staff at Radnor Lake conduct canoe floats for our park visitors annually (65 floats for 503 park visitors in 2014), the focus of this training was to achieve a certification for the entire ranger staff and improve our focus on providing quality environmental education opportunities for park visitors, specifically park visitors with special needs who want to participate in these programs. The interpretive canoe floats at Radnor Lake are programs provided by the ranger staff to enable park visitors to experience unique wildlife and interpretive program opportunities at the natural area.
This training and certification for the park ranger staff was made possible by a private grant/donation through Friends of Radnor Lake. Stay tuned for more to come on this training and generous donation/grant in the Friends of Radnor Lake Fall 2015 Newsletter.