Park rangers coming to Tempe parks

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The City of Tempe launched a new park ranger program on Nov. 27 with 14 new rangers. These full-time city employees will serve as ambassadors for the city’s parks, preserves and green spaces.

Alex Jovanovic, Deputy Director of Community Services for Parks for the City of Tempe, joined Arizona Horizon to talk about how the program will help educate visitors and keep the community safe.

“Right now, we have 14 [rangers]. We have two vacancies that we’re looking to fill,” Jovanovic said. “The first round of hiring we were able to 15 of the 17 total positions.”

Park rangers will provide helpful resources and information as well as education about park rules. They will be able to issue city citations, though they will not carry firearms. Their focus will be on education first.

Rangers will offer a service-oriented approach and be the community’s connection for information and questions. Tempe park rangers will have a focused approach on building connections among community members and providing information about resources and services.

“The ranger program, in a nutshell, is looking to enhance recreational experiences for community members, whether they live in Tempe or visit from outside Tempe,” Jovanovic said. “They’ll tackle the issues by providing a positive visible presence in the park system and really trying to engage the community serving as an ambassador role and really connecting the community.”

Tempe is home to more than 50 neighborhood parks, community parks and preserves. Tempe had a park ranger program many years ago that was discontinued during the Great Recession due to necessary budget cuts.

Now, the City Council is bringing the program back with adjustments and improvements to make the service even better.

Alex Jovanovic, Deputy Director of Community Services for Parks, City of Tempe

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