Primary responsibility is to provide high quality and innovative educational programs for park visitors and the Lakewood community. Also provides patrol of park properties, enforcement of rules and ordinances, natural resources protection and preservation, and public safety for the park system. Carries out a variety of duties related to park management and environmental education as directed by the Park Supervisor.
Major Tasks, Duties, and Responsibilities
Park Naturalist Duties
- Responsible for planning, researching, preparing materials for, and conducting interpretive programs and outdoor education for adults and children of diverse ages and backgrounds.
- Organizes various special events and programs intended to educate park users and residents about park ecosystems and wildlife, history, stewardship and other topics. Coordinates a variety of special event permit requests.
- Researches, prepares and develops interpretive exhibits for the visitor center and interpretive park signage.
- Works with the Visitor Center Specialist to coordinate all park volunteer programs and specifically supervises volunteers in the naturalist and park steward programs. Leads volunteers on a variety of projects.
- Coordinates the activities of the Park Rangers related to environmental education and safety education. Serves on a variety of City and area work groups and committees.
- The emphasis of the position is in the naturalist area and as a component of fulfilling those responsibilities it is expected that a degree of enforcement will also be required of the position. That is the reason the ranger expectations are noted specifically in this description.
- Coordinates facility operations such as visitor center custodial, picnic reservations, event scheduling, campground operations, gate/cashier operations, community service programs, swim beach operations and contract coordination.
- Provides a safe environment for recreation through upkeep of the facilities, educating the public through public relation contacts, signs, and written information.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Ensures compliance of city park ordinances and rules through public relations, education, signs, and written information. If necessary, issues city citation for violations.
- Provides a patrol presence on all assigned park properties and trails. Patrols using trucks, ATV's, foot, mountain bikes, motorboats and occasionally on horseback.
- Prepares deposits and completes daily revenue reports. May oversee multiple aspects of the park revenue operations.
- Provides leadership to seasonal staff to include gate employees and beach attendants, and infrequently, variable rangers.
- Effectively responds to emergencies and coordinates response with West Metro, Lakewood
- Police and other responding agencies. Provides first aid and rescue within training and ability.
- Oversees park water safety program.
- Installs and removes park signs as needed.
- Maintenance responsibilities include trash pick-up; emptying trash, upkeep of patrol equipment, boats, police radios & vehicles. Occasional duties also include restroom cleaning, facility repair, vandalism removal, and other maintenance projects as assigned.
- May be assigned responsibilities is the following areas: construction and maintenance of nature trails and multiple use trails; noxious weed control; restoration; wildlife management, or other natural resource management duties and projects.
- Participates in the Aquatic Nuisance Species Program as a boat inspector and for enforcement needs
Receives general supervision from the Park Supervisor
Provides leadership to variable rangers, gate attendants, swim beach attendants and volunteers. Directly supervises 1-2 seasonal ranger/naturalist.
Bachelor's degree with course work in fields related to natural resources, environmental education, parks and recreation.
Must have at least one year experience in a natural resources management field. Strongly prefer experience as a park naturalist.
Valid driver's license, with good driving record, background check and finger printing required.
This position will be required to undergo a pre-employment psychological.
Must have or attain within 1 year of hiring, and maintain: Certified Interpretive Guide certification, first responder or higher medical certification (EMT preferred), firefighter Type II (Red Card), water rescue (life guard, open water lifeguard, lifeguard instructor, swift water rescue, motorboat operator course including rescue skills, or approved equivalent), Ice Rescue Certification, State Boat Inspector Certification, collapsible baton and pepper spray certification.
Preferred certification: Certified Interpretive Trainer
KSA's and Physical/Mental Reqs
- Knowledge of City ordinances, state boating statues and regulations, state fishing rules and regulations.
- Must possess the technical knowledge and physical ability to perform ice and water rescues, if necessary, as well as respond to, and coordinate the response to, other emergency situations including accidents, first aid and wildland fire
- Knowledge of natural resources base within the various parks. Knowledge of basic natural history of species within the parks.
- Excellent public relations skills (dealing with complaints and violations) and ability to prepare and present formal educational programs.
- Ability to issue citations when violations occur and to testify in court proceedings.
- Ability to demonstrate organizational, and leadership skills.
- Ability to work independently and as a team member.
- Ability to use a wide range of tools preferred.
- Basic computer skills.
- Must be able to interact with others in a positive manner.
- Must demonstrate regular and reliable attendance.
- Background check required.
Lifting and Carrying:
- Must be able to complete the pack test to maintain wild land fire qualification: 3 mile walk carrying a 45 pound pack completed under 45 minutes.
- Must be able to lift, carry and/or maneuver printed materials, rocks, signs, trash bags hand tools that weigh up to 20 pounds on a frequent basis, up to waist level.
- Must occasionally lift the following that may weigh between 10 and 50 pounds: printed materials, rocks, tools, post pounders, signs, post removers, trash bags, bike, post-hole diggers, logs, bird seed, lumber and animal carcasses, up to waist level.
- Will occasionally lift with assistance (two-person or team lift), the following that may weigh 51 pounds and up: picnic tables, animal carcasses, logs, buoys, trash bags, canoes, seed bags, body weight for water rescues/medical incidents.
Pushing and Pulling:
- Must occasionally push and pull posts and fences and buoys. Must trailer boats primarily using hand cranks and truck.
- Must be able to use basic rescue equipment including tossing a throw bag or ring, and pulling body weight.
- Must be able to trailer a boat; load and unload a 15-foot boat into water; operate boat in all types of weather conditions.
- Work requires some sitting in both truck and in the office.
- Work requires frequent standing and walking.
- Work requires frequent moving about the park for up to 10 hours per day
- Work requires frequent: pinching (when filing, pulling tags and making change); gripping (when driving, pulling signs and working with tools); reaching for tools, ladders, materials, etc., and frequent climbing in and out of vehicle up to 60 times per day and some climbing on ladders.
- Work requires occasional bending, kneeling, and balancing including during boat operations
- Work requires occasional crawling as well as occasional maneuvering and/or balancing on ladders.
- Requires occasional pushing to set posts and fences and trailering boats primarily using hand crank and truck. Occasional pulling of buoys in spring and fall. .
- Mountain biking and hiking in rough terrain.
- Work may include running or swimming in emergency situations.
- Manipulates tools, construction materials, printed materials, cash and computer.
- Administrative work is performed in an office environment, frequently moving about, standing, sitting and bending.
- Operate a 15-foot boat and perform boat rescues in the event of a storm, strong winds, and/or equipment failure.
- Patrol duties are performed on foot, on bike, in a vehicle, or boat.
- Some driving is done on highway roads, residential roads, off-road, and on the water.
Must be able to respond to telephone and in-person requests and to communicate via two-way radio.
Uses vision to read written job related information and to patrol grounds.
Must have basic mathematic knowledge for interpreting water tests and completing revenue duties.
Must know and follow proper lifting procedures.
Remember rules and regulations, city ordinances, etc., or have ability to locate resources.
Must be able to communicate verbally and in writing with visitors and city staff. Must give programs and will interact with upset citizens.
Gives direction to seasonal staff.
Must be able to take direction and follow instruction from supervisor.
Must be able to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
Hours of work will vary but will include weekends, holidays and nights.
Work is performed frequently in outdoor environment in all temperatures and weather conditions. May encounter irate and upset citizens, and will respond to stressful emergency situations.
Uses computer frequently.