The City of Newport today announced it is set to launch a new seasonal Park Ranger program this summer to provide visitors to the City’s network of public parks a helping hand and to be on the lookout for potential hazards and quality of life issues.
The program, which the City says in a press release is the first municipal program of its kind in Rhode Island, stems from a series of community meetings related to park use and safety that began last year, culminating in a Park Safety Report drafted by the Tree & Open Space Commission and presented to the City Council.
While the rangers will be a visible presence across the City, the City says that they will not be law enforcement officers. Rather, as part of the Department of Public Services, they’ll serve as ambassadors for the City to promote positive uses in parks and build relationships with visitors.
They’ll also be keeping an eye out for potential problems such as unleashed dogs, noise violations, and illegal dumping, and will act as a conduit between the public and law enforcement should the need arise, according to the City.
The initiative is modeled after other successful park ranger programs in communities such as Denver, CO, and Salt Lake City, UT. Rangers will visit all parks, but will focus their efforts on the City’s most popular urban areas, including Storer, King, Hunter, Miantonomi, and Vernon parks.
Once operational, rangers will monitor parks from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. throughout the summer season.
The City is currently accepting applications, and a full job description is available online at www.CityofNewport.com/jobs.
As a community-facing position, the City of Newport says that bi-lingual candidates and those passionate about the outdoors are encouraged to apply.