LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department is looking to hire more park rangers to help patrol one of many parks in the city.
The Volunteer Park Ranger Program was established in 2011 and just recently added biking patrol positions. The department has 12 rangers, but hopes to add more.
Park Ranger Doctor Robert Williams said he is proud to volunteer his time to the program.
“There’s so much benefit. Helping people. Helping people period is such a great thing,” Williams said.
Williams is going into his seventh year of being a park ranger for Little Rock and encourages more to join.
"Park rangers [are] there to know the knowledge of the park and that's what excited people more," he said.
Program Coordinator Karen Sykes said the park rangers help make a difference in the community.
"They represent the city officially. They answers questions, they will patrol our parks," Sykes said.
Sykes also said having more eyes on the trails will help people feel a little safer.
"You’re there, you’re visible, you’re watching people cars, you’re watching people," Williams said.
Before park rangers get out into the park system, they first must pass a background check and training sessions.
"You go through a flora and fauna training session, conflict mediation techniques with the police department and then you become CPR certified," Sykes said.
Once a ranger passes all the requirements, they receive official gear like bikes, badges and jackets.
"All of this is free and in return we ask you give us 16 hours a month of your time," Sykes said.
But in the end, being a park ranger can really help make someone’s day.
“Anyone. No matter what area of life that they're in, they can be a park ranger. And you will love it," Williams said.
You must be 18 years or older to sign up for the program, but Sykes said the Parks and Rec Department is always taking applicants.