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HCLL to feature Haugland’s park service career

Retired National Park Service park ranger Eric Haugland shares his experiences and his responsibilities as chair of the Itasca-Heartland Connection Trail.

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Eric Haugland presents "Eight First Weeks in a 30+ Year Career in the National Park Service" on Oct. 4, 2022 at the Armory Arts and Events Center in Park Rapids.
Contributed / Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning
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The Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning (HCLL) presents Eric Haugland with “Eight First Weeks in a 30+ Year Career in the National Park Service” on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

The program is scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Arts and Events Center in Park Rapids. It is open to the public, free of charge and handicap accessible.

Haugland, a Park Rapids native who graduated in 1982 from Concordia College Moorhead with a degree in environmental studies, began his career with a National Park Service internship at Glacier National Park. He stayed with the Park Service for 33-34 years, working as a park ranger in eight parks throughout the country.

His assignments included resource management, protection, interpretation and administration work. Haugland returned to Park Rapids after his 2014 retirement, and currently serves as chair for the Itasca-Heartland Connection Trail.

“I remember going to a county commissioner board meeting in U.S. government class as a junior in high school, and they were talking about building a bike trail to Itasca,” said Haugland. “We now have a DNR preliminary engineering plan for the proposed route, which has allowed us to seek state bonding for the trail in three phases.”

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The HCLL program will feature an update on building the multi-use trail, detailing Haugland’s responsibilities and unique memories from his National Park Service career.

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Featured guests are the Nevis Women Club, which has received a $27,200 grant from the Minnesota DNR to create a first-of-its-kind, pollinator-friendly corridor along a state trail.

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