Around the globe, park rangers are on the front line in the fight to protect our natural heritage. World Ranger Day offers a chance to support their vital work, which ranges from environmental campaigning to education. The day is also an opportunity to pay tribute to rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
It’s estimated there are more than 100,000 reserves, parks and protected areas around the world. World Ranger Day was created by the International Ranger Federation and was first held in 2007.
Many mistakenly think America’s Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the world, but there’s one that is over 100 years older. Established by the Mongolian government in 1778, the area surrounding Bogd Khan Uul Mountain is the oldest national park in the world.
Many events are being staged around the world, including guided walks and screenings of the documentary The Thin Green Line. If there isn’t an event in your area, you could organize one – and help to raise awareness of the vital role performed by custodians of the world’s parks.
Learn about World Ranger Day
World Ranger Day is celebrated to commemorate Rangers that have been injured or killed in the line of duty. It also celebrates all of the work that Rangers do around the world to protect the cultural heritage and natural treasures of the planet.
What is a Ranger?
A Ranger typically refers to a forest ranger or a park ranger. A Ranger is a person that is charged with preserving and protecting parklands and natural protected areas.
Rangers will usually work with other volunteers and staff members in order to maintain bridges, stiles, gates, and footpaths. They are also the eyes and ears of the national park authority, spending most of their time out and about. They provide contact between the national park authority and between local people and visitors.
Rangers need to have a lot of local knowledge of the history of the national park and the wildlife, as well as where to go and what to see. They help answer questions about the park from the public. However, their work goes a lot further than this. They also have to look out for any potential problems, and because they are dealing with live animals, it can be very risky.
To become a Ranger, practical skills and the right knowledge are needed. Aside from this, a degree in environmental management, conservation, or a similar subject is typically required.
The true dangers of being a park ranger
You may think that the real danger of being a park ranger comes from the animals and the national landscape. In fact, you would be wrong! Statistics show that park rangers are facing more dangers than ever before. Assaults on park rangers are at an all-time high. In fact, park rangers are more likely to be assaulted than FBI agents and border patrol officers!
A lot of experts have spoken about the increased risk, and they believe it is down to the fact that there are more park visitors than ever before but there 50 percent less rangers today as there used to be in the ‘80s. Therefore, while Rangers are often dealing with wild animals and their safety is at risk in this sense, this is not the only danger that they need to worry about.
History of World Ranger Day
The first World Ranger Day took place in 2007, the date represented the 15th anniversary of when the IRF was founded. IRF stands for the International Ranger Federation. This organization was founded in 1992.
It was founded when the ANPR (U.S. Association of National Park Rangers), SCRA (Scottish Countryside Rangers Association), and the CMA (Countryside Management Association, which represents rangers in Wales and England), got together and signed a joint agreement.
This agreement was to raise support and awareness of the critical work that rangers around the globe do when it comes to conserving cultural and natural heritage.
How to celebrate World Ranger Day
There are a number of different ways that you can celebrate World Ranger Day and get involved. This includes the following…
Raise money for Ranger projects
One of the ways that you can play honor to rangers of the world on World Ranger Day is by raising funds for all of the critical work that Rangers do. There are a lot of different causes that you can raise funds for. This includes supporting the families of fallen Rangers, as well as raising funds for equipping and training Rangers in the field.
To fundraise effectively, you need to have an idea that is going to raise money and get other people involved. A lot of people like to do things that involve the community. For example, you could organize a fun run, a cake sale, or something along these lines.
The idea does not need to be complicated. You need to get other people involved. If you raise money and awareness, you have done your job! Of course, you can also raise money through other means. For example, you could make a craft or a certain type of product, and you can sell it online or in the local area. You can then donate all of the profits, or at least some of them, to helping out Rangers and their families.
Pause for a moment
Another way to celebrate World Ranger Day is to simply take the time to think about everything that Rangers have done for the world. Simply pause for a moment and think about all of the Rangers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our planet’s cultural heritage and natural treasures.
Spread the word and raise awareness
Of course, we can have already mentioned how you can raise awareness through fundraising. However, you can also spread the word and raise awareness through the likes of blogging and social media. There are lots of great pieces of content online, including infographics and fact sheets, which you can share with others to try and raise awareness about the work that Rangers do. Of course, you could write your own personal message to spread the word to your friends, family, and followers. It is up to you.
Host an event
Another way to celebrate World Ranger Day is to host an event. You can organize an event at your favorite place, community center, school, work, or even your home, and invite your loved ones. Mark the occasion by learning about everything that Rangers do, and making others aware of this. You can then inspire them to join the cause.
So there you have it: an insight into World Ranger Day. This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about all of the incredible work that Rangers do and the dangers that they put themselves in on a daily basis.
A lot of people do not stop and think about this, and so it is nice to be able to take the day and show Rangers just how much we appreciate them. As well as paying our respect to those that have lost their lives in this job.