Terry WiseRifle, CO Colorado

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June 6, 2012
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A new smiling face at Rifle Gap State Park

The next time you visit Rifle Gap State Park, one of the first people you will be greeted by is Barbara Morris, our administrative assistant. Barbara has worked at Rifle Gap for one year this month. She is newly married and wanted to relocate to Garfield County, where her husband lives and works. Prior to Rifle Gap, she taught health education for three years at Colorado State University in Pueblo. Barbara has many duties, including revenue tracking and reporting, retail sales, annual passes, boating registrations and hunting and fishing licenses. She helps visitors with day use, camping and special events. Other duties included a spectrum of tasks between snow removal and keeping hummingbird feeders full.I asked Barbara what was the best part of her job at Rifle Gap. She loves to help families create lasting memories. The wonderful wildlife sightings and changing seasons provide a perfect setting for these treasured memories. Her most heartwarming stories involve Boy Scouts on their first camping trip. These scouts experience wildlife, fine outdoor cooking and a sense of independence. Barbara highly recommends families participate in the Junior Ranger program in order to discover the biodiversity of this area with their children. Children truly discover the joys of the outdoor experience and display youthful enthusiasm that can't help but make you smile. Also on the to-do list is a visit to Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery, where you can feed the racing fish some fish food.Beautiful weddings at Rifle Falls' Mountain Mist Amphitheater, large family reunions in the Cottonwood Loop, biology students studying rock formations and ice fishing tournaments in January make it obvious to Barbara that Rifle has a real gem just north of town in Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap.The local community can greet Barbara Morris as an active member and a welcome addition to our area. Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap welcome her as a valuable resource to their staff and look forward to the future together. New duds at visitor's centerOur visitor center's retail area features a new clothing design this summer, including new Rifle Gap State Park T-shirts and ball caps. Besides the new clothing design, there are many wonderful adult and children's books available for purchase. Adult books include topics on history, environment, plant identification, birding identification and broad pocket guides. A favorite children's book is "Who Pooped in the Park?" and "Who Pooped on the Colorado Plateau? Scats and Tracks for Kids" both by Gary D. Robson. Come check out the fun new outwear wear and the literature.Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap are managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, created with the merger of Colorado State Parks and Division of Wildlife. The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. For more, go online to www.parks.state.co.us and http://wildlife.state.co.us.Terry Wise is the summer season park naturalist and volunteer coordinator for the Rifle Gap State Park Complex. Reach her at 625-1607.

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The Post Independent Updated Jun 6, 2012 06:28PM Published Jun 6, 2012 06:24PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.