When you think of a park ranger you think of National parks but the City of Fort Collins is again thinking outside the box by adding its own Ranger program.  

The City of Fort Collins Parks Department launched the Park Ranger program in 2013 designed to monitor and protect 875 acres of developed park land including 6 community parks, 49 neighborhood, pocket parks and also covers 34 miles of recreational trails throughout the city.

City of Fort Collins Park Rangers, Bud Bredehoft and Mike West. Photo courtesy of the City of Fort Collins.

Ranger Bud Bredehoft started up the Park Ranger Division last March after transferring from the Fort Collins Police Department after 25 years of service.  Ranger Mike West joined Bredehoft as the second to join the program just this past January, 2014. West also has 25 years of experience in law enforcement including holding the rank of Sergeant with the Fort Collins Police Department.

If you have ever been plagued by the fact that there are no law enforcement officials to 'police' these trail systems and parks that has changed due to a now dedicated patrol soley for those reasons. Focus of course is on safety, service and stewardship of the parks and paved trail system but the program will also educate and inform users of park policies and laws. For example, did you know you can be ticketed to the tune of $100 for not cleaning up after your pet?

Do the doo...and clean up after Fido.  It's the right thing to do and anyone who loves the outdoors I know does this willingly but for the rest, be advised, the City of Fort Collins Park Rangers are no joke and are in place for a reason.  I salute the program, especially for such a vast area of a park and trail system that Fort Collins maintains.