THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (August 29, 2014) – With the dawn of each day, The Woodlands Township Park Rangers travel The Woodlands parks and pathways looking for opportunities to lend a helping hand to residents while protecting the community’s natural resources. On August 27, 2014, the Township honored five rangers during a special badging ceremony. Each ranger had obtained more than 80 hours of training and more than 1,000 patrol hours.
“This is a great honor for the park rangers, along with The Woodlands Township, as the rangers bring years of experience to the parks and recreation department and to the community,” said The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Director Chris Nunes.
The Woodlands Township Park Rangers are called upon to provide a variety of services.
“We are the eyes and ears of the Township Parks and Recreation Department,” said Supervisor James Birdwell, who heads up the specially trained team. “We are a visible presence of the department and we’re able to educate the public about our park facilities, open space reserves, recreation and the services of the Township.”
In order to protect the parks and pathways and the residents and visitors who use these amenities, the rangers work closely with local law enforcement and safety personnel, as well as conservation agencies. The rangers often attend special events such as Concerts in the Park, Earth Day GreenUp, Good Neighbor Days and other gatherings to help educate and inform the public about local park and pathway rules and regulations.
The rangers are on duty daily from early morning to late evening seven days a week, acting as ambassadors to visitors of The Woodlands parks and pathway system. They utilize pick-up trucks and utility task vehicles to assist them in their daily rounds through more than 130 parks and more than 200 miles of pathways in the community. As stewards of the parks and pathways, they are on the lookout not only for violations of park rules or would-be vandals, but also for unsafe conditions. Rangers will address maintenance concerns to the grounds and facilities that could pose an immediate problem to residents, such as fallen branches or pathway obstructions.
The program, which began with four rangers and a supervisor in April, 2003, has added 14 additional team members, and will expand to meet the future needs of the community.
For more information on The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/parksandrecreation, or call 281-210-3800.
Photo: Township General Manager Don Norrell pins badge on ranger Jeff Cogburn.