LINCROFT – Call it the perfect ending to Park & Recreation Month! Celebrated on July 31, World Ranger Day honors park rangers for their dedication and the crucial work they do. The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders took the opportunity to recognize its Monmouth County Park System rangers with a proclamation.
“The Monmouth County Park System has 95 full-time Park Rangers,” said Freeholder and Park System Liaison Lillian G. Burry. “They are our goodwill ambassadors who have attended the Police Academy and are fully vested with police authority to assure safety in the parks and protect all park visitors.”
The backbone of the Monmouth County Park System, park rangers are on the front line of caring for the county’s vast natural and historical treasures and protecting its visitors. New rangers undergo eight weeks of training including first aid, law enforcement procedures, missing person searches, fire prevention and safety, and grounds and facility maintenance. Once trained, rangers provide assistance and emergency response to the Park System’s seven million annual visitors from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, offering a reassuring, uniformed presence in all the parks.
Throughout the Park System, county park rangers are responsible for over 50 public buildings; 141 miles of trails; an array of recreational facilities including beaches, pools and campgrounds; and numerous gardens, lawns, and specimen trees. They also provide set-up and support to the Park System’s 5,000 annual programs and special events in addition to facilitating group picnics, charity events, weddings and more.
This year, county park rangers have faced new challenges due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As residents turn to their county parks to hike, bike, fish, camp, golf, or just spend time in nature, Park System sites experienced a sharp increase in visitation (some up to 50%). County park rangers have risen to the occasion by providing safe and enjoyable experiences for all.
With 17,547 acres and 43 park areas that include historic sites, woodlands and wetlands, open spaces, and more, there are countless things to see and do in the county parks. Truly a great place to live, Monmouth County is recognized as having one of the most beautiful park systems throughout New Jersey. Its dedicated park rangers play a vital role in this distinction.
The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency. For more information about the Monmouth County Park System, visit www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711.