TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the general public received their first glimpse of the County’s new park rangers at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning.
The five rangers all recently began working this year and are tasked with securing and promoting the County’s 37 parks, boat ramps, trails and Blueways.
Lake County’s five new park rangers are (left to right) Jim Barcal, Gallus Quiqley Jr., Vandy Bates Jr., Grant Cox and Wendy Poag.
“I haven’t heard anything but good things from people out at the parks,” said Lake County Chairman Welton Cadwell.
In the coming months, the visibility of the park rangers will increase as they develop positive activities for the public to enjoy while visiting Lake County’s park system.
“I think one of the greatest things about this new service is it is being offered seven days a week,” said Jim Stivender, Director of the Lake County Department of Public Works. “Security isn’t the rangers’ most important role. Its public relations and making sure every park visitor is happy and well informed about everything the park has to offer.”
The five new park rangers are: Jim Barcal, Gallus Quiqley Jr., Vandy Bates Jr., Grant Cox and Wendy Poag. Each ranger is trained in different disciplines, such as organizing recreational activities, hosting educational nature walks or directing informative bird-watching tours.
“Our role is to educate people, to know what we have in our parks and to maximize the usage of these facilities,” Quiqley Jr. said.
For more information about the Lake County park ranger program, call the Lake County Department of Public Works, Parks & Trails Division, at (352) 742-0992.