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Florida is home to 160 state parks, many of which are staffed by knowledgeable and experienced rangers. These rangers not only educate the general public about the Florida state park facilities, but also they enforce laws, care for wildlife, work with other agencies to maintain the parks and address environmental issues. There are certain requirements in place for those interested in becoming a Florida state park ranger.
A prospective ranger must learn information on state park pricing, rules and regulations and laws that govern each of the protected state park areas. This includes laws on environmental protection, methods to protect area wildlife and how to respond to emergent situations regarding animals. Rangers should be familiar with the terrain on which they will work should a visitor run into difficulty navigating the area.
Florida State Park Ranger Academy Enrollment
Florida state park rangers are required to undergo an intensive two-week training session with the ranger academy. During this time, prospective rangers will learn about traditions at the parks, expectations from the Department of Environmental Protection (the state agency that oversees the park service) and training in all areas of ranger service. Prospective rangers can meet others in the program and form bonds with fellow rangers.
The Florida state park system has a keen focus on land and resource preservation in each of the state's parks. Rangers are expected to carry out missions regarding continued preservation in the state parks. They must convey information to guests and other park employees regarding conserving natural resources where possible. Rangers must themselves be able to observe when resources are at risk and notify the appropriate channels within the DEP to resolve these issues, and keep Florida's parks thriving.
Attending the ranger academy is required to become a Florida state park ranger; keep in mind that you must live-in during your stint at the academy. Also, while there are many younger people in the academy, some are embarking on a second career after retirement. There is no age limit on becoming a park ranger because of the versatility of jobs available. Applications and the hiring process is conducted through the DEP offices.
Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.