Don’t ever say National Park Service employees aren’t multitalented. As it turns out, some rangers have been secretly honing a talent for crochet — and they’re now ready to share those skills with the world.
An art journal called Colossal recently shared crochet patterns for halibut and walleye, both created by Park Ranger Hailey Burley. The patterns were inspired by fish spotted in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, where Burley will be working this summer, and Voyageurs National Park, a expanse of wetlands and forest in Northern Minnesota.
As it turns out, these aren’t the first crochet patterns NPS rangers have released. Various national park websites share everything from a crochet pillow inspired by New Mexico lava flows to a crochet triops, a freshwater crustacean found in Arizona.
Crochet not your thing? No worries. Maybe you’re into sewing, and would like to try your hand at making a stuffed American shad in honor of the fish that swim in the waters of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail? Or maybe you’d like to sew a mouse-shaped eyeglasses case inspired by a gift from former First Lady Pat Nixon to former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. (The free pattern for this “friendship mouse” is courtesy of the First Ladies National Historic Site in Ohio.)
Looking for easy crafts to do with kids? Just search for the phrase “build your own” on the National Park Service website. If you can’t make it out to a national park for a bit of outdoor adventure, do the next-best thing: make a plastic-cup lighthouse, craft a paper cannon, or, you know, crochet some fish.