Park Rangers

Madison Park Rangers provide a year-round service for the entire park system. Daily duties include:

  • Monitoring shelter reservations within the parks, making sure the parks and shelters are suitable for the renters, as well as ensuring that the reservations and users are in compliance with their permit conditions and not disturbing other park users.  These events include birthday parties, weddings, and community gatherings.
  • Similarly, rangers patrol larger community events that happen within parks to ensure that parks are not damaged during the events, and that the event coordinators have no complaints about the parks and park shelters.  Some of the events that park rangers can be found patrolling include: Paddle & Portage, La Fete de Marquette, and the Color Run.
  • Within the parks, permits are required to use city boat launches, disc golf courses, dog parks, and specific groomed cross-country ski trails.  Rangers patrol these areas to ensure that park users have the appropriate permits, as the maintenance and upkeep of these areas are funded by such permits. 
  • Rangers also coordinate with volunteers at dog parks and disc golf courses to work on keeping these areas clean and maintained.
  • Rangers have the authority to enforce several ordinances within parks. Depending on circumstances, rangers may educate or ticket park users who are in violation. Some of these ordinances include:
    • Parking violations (such as three hour parking restrictions)
    • Animal violations (such as dogs being off leash where prohibited)
    • Violations related to preservation of the land (littering, etc)
    • Alcohol prohibitions in various parks
    • Prohibition on camping in parks
      When individuals are creating a consistent problem in the parks and are disturbing other parks users, park rangers also have the authority to ban those individuals from returning to the parks for a specified period of time.
  • Rangers respond to calls from the public related to safety concerns, damage to property, noise complaints, animal complaints, maintenance concerns, etc.
  • Rangers regularly patrol busy parks in order to ensure that parks are kept clean and safe for all visitors. In the summer, rangers patrol beaches, athletic fields, the Goodman skate park, and hiking trails, among other places.  In the winter, rangers are at ski trails, ice rinks, sledding hills and snowshoe trails.  All year long, rangers are patrolling Madison's recreational areas to ensure that everyone who uses these areas can enjoy them.
  • Rangers interact with the general public and meet with neighborhood associations to discuss any concerns or problems with the parks that are observed by the public.
  • Rangers lock up restrooms and shelters in the parks every night.  Parks close at 10:00 PM, and with shelters locked up at night vandalism decreases.