People recreate in our parks, use our trail systems and participate in healthy, outdoor activity when it’s safe and comfortable to do so. Parks and trails are a significant city asset that can influence a person’s choice about where they live.
There are over 866 acres of park land, 26 miles of trail and pathways, 17 recreational fields, 13 different lodges, gazebos, retreat and interpretive centers used by residents. Paved trails connect residential neighborhoods with Historic Downtown and businesses along the way.
The Park Ranger is instrumental towards achieving the City’s vision of creating a “hometown” atmosphere by ensuring quality services, facilities and leisure experiences are accessible, safe and enjoyable to the public.
Nature of Work
The scope of a Ranger’s work involves park protection, security, compliance with codes and rules as well as working to preserve our natural environment. Some of the duties include:
Visible law enforcement presence for city parks and trails.
Respond and take action to reported crime
Enforce ordinances regarding encampments, parking and park rules
Problem solve issues that can lead to crime fear in parks/trails
Provide interpretive education to park visitors
Work closely with Police Officers and Parks & Recreation Staff
Develop park safety and education programs
Park Rangers possess limited authority to enforce municipal infractions and crimes enabling them to address criminal activity and safety concerns as needed. As law enforcement Rangers, they work out of the police department, have completed an accredited Ranger or Washington State Police Academy and have similar equipment and training as their police officer counterparts.
Park Rangers influence individual responsibility for the habitat and environment within our park system. They provide interpretive education for users about native plant and animal habitat, historic sites, environmental havens and “best practices” for conservation and protection of our natural resources.