Hey Marin County Parks Ranger, What Are You Doing?
photo credit: Craig Solin
By Craig Solin, Open Space Ranger
“Hey Ranger what are you doing?” is a common question Marin County Parks rangers hear on a regular basis. “Ranger,” in the original meaning of the word designates a person who is specially trained to traverse rough terrain, esp. woodland, relatively quickly, and who possesses the according survival skills to live in the wilderness for a prolonged amount of time. It may mean something slightly different to us but we don’t think that description is actually too far off! Marin County Parks rangers have a wide variety of jobs and interests. You may see them crouched on the ground, studying a tree, patrolling a fire road, clearing a trail, performing first aide, educating visitors, searching for a lost hiker, or picking up litter.
Below is a picture of me out on patrol. I love photography, wildflowers and small insects, and the open space is a great place to see both. I am always stopping on my patrol to investigate something new.
Our rangers are extremely varied- Some are biologists, or had previous careers as high school teachers, mechanics, advertising executives, foresters, and in criminal justice. They each have diverse hobbies as well. Some are fly fisherman, some mountain bikers, while others are hikers, photographers, equestrians, skiers. One thing I can say for certain is that we all love the open space in Marin.
Each of our rangers are committed to protecting and enhancing the wildlife and lands, as well as keeping our parks and preserves safe and enjoyable for our visitors. We enjoy interacting with visitors who love the open space as much as we do and we never tire of questions. One of the reasons we patrol is to educate and inform the public about what is going on and how best to help you enjoy your experience.
So the next time you see a Ranger checking out a tree, or clearing a trail, ask them what they are doing. It might surprise you and even be educational!