Reservoir park ranger keeps busy year round


Staff writer

Traci Robb has been a park ranger at Marion Reservoir for nine years.

"I didn't even know you could get a degree for a park ranger," she said. She got interested in the career through a friend she worked with. "We worked at Rusty's Outdoor Sports in Hutchinson. He was getting ready to start at K-State and I was up there the next semester."

Robb has a degree in park resource management.

As a ranger, Robb is busy.

She said, "During the week I try to get paperwork done. On the weekends, I'm busy patrolling the parks and water. I handle problems that arise, enforce regulations, and help gate attendants."

Work for a park ranger doesn't end when the summer ends.

Robb said winter allows rangers to do outside work and provides time for training. It's also the end of the fiscal year so a lot of end-of-the-year paperwork is completed.

Just like other occupations, Robb has goals for the future. "Right now I have an application in for Terry Holt's position, which is lead park ranger," she said. Robb also hopes to try to get congressional support for Marion Reservoir, and she hopes to continue upgrades and improvements. "We want to keep families coming, and keep the park clean."

Robb has been in some pretty serious situations over her nine years. Her most memorable moments are when she is in situations that get her adrenaline going. "I have been in a few pretty dangerous boat rescues. Not only was it dangerous for the boaters, but it was dangerous for us to be out on the water, too."

The three goals that Robb and other park rangers live by are that they are there to protect the natural resources of the park from the people. They also are there to protect people from other people. The third goal Robb said they have is to protect people from natural resources. "We preach water safety. We always try to get people to wear life jackets. My goal is that one day people will see a life jacket the same as they see a seatbelt."