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Central California Life Magazine

CenCali Heroes: Appreciating Park Rangers

Apr 22, 2016 10:53AM ● By Melanie Heisinger

This week is National Parks Week, where entry into any National Park is free in celebration of its 100th birthday. That also means it's the National Parks Service 100th birthday so happy birthday National Parks Service!

Let's take the time to celebrate all the National Park Rangers that facilitate and protect our parks. Here are a few highlights on some of the many things that Park Rangers do so that we can enjoy our visits. Thank you Park Rangers!

What is a Park Ranger?

"Park Ranger" is a broad term for a career that is incredibly multi-faceted and diverse. Park rangers are responsible for protecting our state and national parks, the natural resources, ecosystems, and wildlife within them, as well as the many people who visit them. Park rangers may serve as law enforcement officers, environmental experts, historians or a combination of the three.

Depending on the role, they may focus on enforcing park rules and regulations, or they may spend the better part of their day assisting visitors, giving group tours and presenting visitor programs. Every day is different, and every role is different. Not all rangers spend their day within the parks, but every job is equally as important.  

What can we do to show support?

Get involved. Volunteering at any local National Park is a great first step towards helping these rangers. It's also a great way to get a taste of what it's like to be a ranger! If you are interested in volunteering, visit this website and find a National Park close to you. As a special centennial celebration, the National Parks Service has expanded their Volunteer Ambassadors program. 

For more information about this program, visit this website. 

Another way to help is to make a donation. The generosity of citizens through their tax dollars and donations help to sustain America's national parks. If interested in making a donation, visit their website for more information.  

Thank you, National Parks Rangers, for your service! And Happy 100th Birthday!  

What will you do to give back? Do you know of anyone that should be considered a CenCali Hero? If you do, feel free to tell us about it by contacting us

Information and images courtesy and