Martin County is known for being a premier family-friendly vacation destination, thanks to countless ecotourism activities, beautiful hotels, world-class restaurants, and miles of pristine coastline. However, it’s also a popular pet-friendly escape.
We recognize that outdoor adventures and pets go hand-in-paw, which is why we are excited to announce our new B.A.R.K. Ranger program, which launched on November 4 in celebration of World Wildlife Conservation Day. An extension of our ongoing partnership with Leave No Trace, this free program’s mission is to promote responsible outdoor recreation when visitors and residents are exploring Martin County with their four-legged friends.
To ensure a “pawsome” outdoor experience, while helping protect local wildlife and our natural lands, pet owners can commit to following the “Rules of B.A.R.K.” These guidelines include:
Bag Your Pet’s Waste
Always on Leash
Know Where You Can Go
Pet owners who sign the free online pledge will receive a complimentary B.A.R.K. Ranger dog tag and branded bandana. Program collateral can be retrieved from partner locations, including the Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge and the Hobe Sound Nature Center (13640 SE Federal Highway in Hobe Sound), Gumbo Limbo Coastal Chic (37 SW Osceola Street in Stuart), and select pet-friendly hotels throughout Martin County.
The B.A.R.K. Ranger program originated in the National Park System in 2015 as a positive way to promote awareness about responsible recreation with pets on public lands. Since then, the program has gained popularity and spread across various states.
“Whether you’re strolling our beautiful beaches or trekking through one of our pristine parks, there’s no better adventure buddy than your pup,” said Nerissa Okiye, Martin County Tourism Director. “It’s vital to ensure that the impact on local wildlife and public lands is minimal when exploring Martin County with pets, and we believe our new B.A.R.K. Ranger program will be a fun and educational tool for visitors and residents alike.”
“Together, with the Hobe Sound Nature Center, we are committed to protecting and conserving South Florida’s unique natural heritage through education and management,” said Refuge Manager Bill Miller. “By nature, we are all animal lovers, and we are excited to be a part of such an important endeavor to share natural lands with our pets in a fun but responsible way.”
This program will continue to grow and evolve over time, so be sure to visit www.MartinBarkRanger.com to learn more and find the most up-to-date list of prize pick-up locations!