Vancouver Park Board Thursday celebrated the opening of a new feature in Stanley Park — a designated station for park rangers.
The new ranger station will be open seven days a week. The hours are still to be determined but Uultsje DeJong, superintendent of park rangers, said it will likely be open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., but he hopes to see the station open later in the summer months.
“Because we have, you know, [more] daylight and extended hours for everything.”
The station is next to the concession stand at Second Beach and will provide a first point of contact for park rangers. Its primary purpose is to educate the public about fire safety, including the city-wide smoking ban in parks and beaches.
Park board vice chair Dave Demers said rangers aim for voluntary compliance through public education, but do issue fines when necessary.
The station is also stocked with maps, as well as information including the weather forecast, daily times for high and low tides, and sunset, and any trail or seawall closures.
DeJong said the station in Stanley Park could just be the beginning.
“It’s a dream of ours to, in a year or two, or whenever we could, have a mobile unit… that could go from park to park, especially when we have events,” he said.
“Uniformed rangers act as the park board’s ambassadors in more than 240 city parks,” Demers said.
Vancouver park rangers have a wide range of responsibilities, including bylaw enforcement, monitoring playing fields, first aid, fire patrol and helping find missing persons. They also work with Vancouver police, firefighters and paramedics, and help connect those in needs with services.