National Park Week!

2016 was the centennial year for the creation of the National Park Service and April 15-23, 2017 is “National Park Week” when admission to all of our national parks is free! Did you know that there are three National Park units in the Cayuga Lake watershed area? In this episode (#134) of Walk in the Park, we’ll explore them and then go out on trails. You can watch this show on Ithaca area TV (see the schedule below) or right here online anytime, anywhere in the embedded video right here.

In 2017, you can watch it on Ithaca, NY area cable TV channel 13 (and 97.1) on the following schedule:

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

Monday at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 25 at 11:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Walk in the Park is a weekly public access television series produced at PEGASYS studios of Time Warner Cable in Ithaca, NY by Tony Ingraham, Owl Gorge Productions.

January in Parks Across America

Snowshoe hare in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Photo from the National Park Service.

Snowshoe hare in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Photo from the National Park Service.

This time (episode 95), we’ll look at early winter in parks across the United States, from New England to Florida to the desert Southwest to Alaska, and of course, right here in Ithaca, NY. Snow-covered peaks, steaming lakes, wildlife, a dog sled,  mountain lions, and much more. The Adirondacks, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Catskill Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, Saguaro National Park near Tucson, AZ, the upper Mississippi River, and Denali National Park in Alaska, and many other places.

You can watch it beginning tonight (Thursday, 1/15/15) at 9:00 on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3. It will repeat on both Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 AM, and the final cablecast is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 20, at 8:00 PM.


See the schedule for all public access TV shows in the Ithaca, NY area.

The Conservation Legacy of John Muir

John Muir, American conservationist

John Muir in 1907

John Muir was one of our earliest, most famous, and most effective advocates for the preservation of wilderness. His efforts in California in the late 1800s helped protect Yosemite Valley and led to the creation of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. President Theodore Roosevelt sought his counsel. John Muir was a founder of the Sierra Club, one of America’s oldest and most powerful conservation organizations. And some have called Muir the “Father of the National Park Service.”

John Muir’s biographer, Steven J. Holmes, wrote, “Muir has profoundly shaped the very categories through which Americans understand and envision their relationships with the natural world.”

Our current episode of Walk in the Park (#80, beginning showing tonight, 7/3/14, at 9:00 on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3) features the National Park Service biography film, “John Muir: A Glorious Legacy.” Showings will repeat this weekend on both days at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude on Tuesday, July 8, at 8:00 p.m.

For those who can’t or don’t wish to watch this on Ithaca cable TV, I have included “John Muir: A Glorious Legacy” embedded below, in two parts.

Part 1

Part 2

By the way, our national award-winning book, A WALK THROUGH WATKINS GLEN: WATER’S SCULPTURE IN STONE, is being reprinted now. Preliminary copies will be delivered to the Watkins Glen State Park gift shop today. Find out more.

Cougars, Mountain Lions, and Panthers!

Cougars, mountain lions, and panthers? What are the differences, or are they the same species? Join me as we travel from Florida to Arizona, Wyoming, and Texas, and then even to Connecticut and New York following the story of these big, elusive cats, the fourth largest in the world.


A mountain lion in mountains of the western United States. Photo by Larry Moats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


This week’s new Walk in the Park TV episode (#65) shows on Ithaca, NY’s public access channel 13 (or 97.3). Cablecasts begin this evening (Thursday, 2/19/15) at 9:00 and will continue on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 each day; and finally next Tuesday, March 24,2015, at 8:00 p.m.

Or watch it online right here!

Jobs in Parks

For the second year, I was asked to come to DeWitt Middle School in Ithaca to be a speaker during their “Looking to the Future Day,” their annual career day for 8th grade students. So, on November 30, I used my Powerpoint to explain the broad range of parks, preserves, and similar sites and organizations where one might pursue a career in “Parks and Recreation.” After fumbling for several minutes with wires, I hooked up a lapel mike to myself and started my video camera and recorded my talk for Walk in the Park TV (episode 31). Later, I exported all the Powerpoint slides as jpegs and then imported them into my video editor to illustrate my talk. 95% of the show is the slides with my voice beneath, while I navigate across each image on the screen as I discuss the topic. This is essentially a version of a talk I gave at Wells College last winter. You may find it interesting. It also is being shown on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13, with airings scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, each day at 10:30 a.m., and finally on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., though the station manager does show it at other times as well.

Below is my description of my talk for the students when they signed up for it:

Mary is a bookkeeper, Doug is a carpenter, Jane is a Jack-of-all-trades, Mike likes working with people, Brittany loves hiking, Sam loves landscaping, Jody loves kids, and Jorge is interested in law enforcement. Which among them could find a satisfying career in parks and recreation?

All of them.

It takes a broad team of professions to run a park, or a park system. Parks are natural places, but parks serve people. Every park has to strike a balance between preserving nature and making it accessible, safe, and enjoyable for the public. There is a career for you in parks and recreation, whether you are purchasing land, making a landscape plan, mowing lawns, or training staff; or constructing and maintaining park trails, roads, campgrounds, buildings, swimming areas, boat launches and marinas, golf courses, and playgrounds; or conducting nature education activities, running a concert series, staffing a recreation center, designing publications and exhibits; or managing a payroll, personnel records, grant writing, or secretarial and administrative work. If you want to be a biologist, geologist, historian, or biological technician, there are jobs in parks and recreation.

Walk in the Park

Notice that I have changed the name of my blog once again. I want to make the blog reflect what I try to do every day, which is go for some kind of walk in a park!

Grandfather Mountain looms above the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

Grandfather Mountain looms above the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

I just returned from a 16-day odyssey through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, mostly following the Blue Ridge Parkway, a linear national park following this beautiful mountain chain for more than 400 miles. Upon my return to little old Ithaca, NY, I realized how tiny we are here and how insular I’d gotten over the past few months. So this refreshed perspective prompts me to broaden the scope of this blog to parks everywhere, including parks I may not have been to or discussion of issues affecting or reflected by parks. I welcome your comments, and your suggestions about neat parks!

Walk in the Park is also the name of my YouTube video channel that has many short videos that you may have seen in my posts. And Walk in the Park is also the name of one of my Facebook pages; there’s not been a lot of activity there, but I expect to pick that up.

I am also toying with the idea of starting a regular public access TV show in Ithaca with the same title. Stay tuned!