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Park Rangers

Ranger Truck at Garner Park

With more than 280 parks within Madison, parks play a large role in making Madison one of the best places to live in the country. Park rangers are a resource to the community and take pride in safeguarding these parks by providing a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. You may see them at Parks Alive, cleaning up the disc golf courses, visiting large community events, or maintaining dog parks.

2023 Annual Report

Rangers are on the front lines of providing access to all park visitors in a variety of community engagement roles, such as:

Park Patrol
Rangers patrol the parks daily to ensure parks are clean and well maintained for everyone to enjoy. Rangers interact and engage with a variety of visitors to answer questions, provide a resource, and be the connection to the Parks Division for the community. While on patrol, rangers also assess park conditions, enforce applicable park rules and ordinances, and respond to calls for service.

Ordinance Enforcement
Park rangers handle all permit enforcement, parking enforcement, and ordinance violations. Rangers are also available to respond to a variety of situations centered on keeping park visitors safe and the park accessible for everyone. Rangers are trained in Defensive Tactics, Crisis Intervention, De-escalation, and CPR/First Aid/AED and work closely with partner agencies like the Madison Police Department.

Rangers in forest Community Outreach
One of the best parts of a ranger’s job is interacting with the community. Rangers can often be found at Parks Alive events, providing information at community meetings, Trucks and Treasures, National Night out, and more! Rangers strive to be a resource for the community and are always looking for ways to get more involved.

Disc Golf Courses
Uniquely, rangers are responsible for maintaining and the three City of Madison Disc Golf Courses at Elver Park, Hiestand Park, and Yahara Golf Course (winter).  You may see rangers on the disc golf courses maintaining tee pads, emptying trash, blowing off fairways, string trimming, or checking permits. We also work with volunteers to get the course ready each season. See Parks Volunteers for upcoming opportunities.

Rangers Disc Course Cleanup Dog Parks
Rangers are also responsible for the nine off leash dog parks in the city. Staff provide minor maintenance, permits enforcement, and is responsible for keeping the snow clear in the winter. Rangers also assist with coordination of Dog Park Clean Up day with volunteers each spring.

Unhoused Outreach
Rangers routinely encounter individuals experiencing homelessness. Whenever possible, rangers find opportunities to provide connection to resources that seek to assist with food, clothing, shelter and other services.