WANAKENA -- The Wanakena Ranger School, the longest-operating forestry school in the country, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.
What is now called the SUNY-ESF Ranger School was founded in 1912 and is the oldest forest technology school in the United States.
In addition to forest technology, the school also offers programs in land surveying technology and environmental and natural resources conservation. Students earn an associate in applied science degree while experiencing a field-based education in the school’s 2800-acre James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest in the heart of the Adirondack State Park.
The school plans to celebrate the milestone with a Forest Festival Sept. 28 and 29 as part of its yearlong centennial celebration.
The Forest Festival, sponsored in part by the Society of American Foresters - New York Section, will promote not only the mission and history of The Ranger School, but the past and present of forestry in the region.
The public, neighbors and friends of the school, and anyone enjoying a fall weekend in the Adirondacks may attend the festivities at the campus, off Route 3 a mile from the hamlet of Wanakena.
On Friday evening, Sept. 28, a visiting group of distinguished foresters from Bavaria will present a lecture. Saturday, Sept. 29, will feature a daylong celebration with performances by local musicians and entertainers, food supplied by local vendors, crafts by regional artisans, rustic children’s activities, a 5K race through the forest, and forestry demonstrations.
Throughout the weekend, attendees will be able to view the entries in a photography contest and a historical display.
For more information about the Ranger School centennial observance, visit www.esf.edu/rangerschool/centennial/