23 June 2023- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn yesterday visited Little Buffalo State Park for ceremony honoring 2023 graduates of the agency’s ranger trainee academy.
“I am proud of this year’s graduates and excited to have these dedicated public servants working in our public lands,” Dunn said. “We expect a lot from our rangers and park managers, as they are key in providing positive visitor experiences along with their duties as sworn law enforcement officers. I am confident that their hard work during training has prepared these graduates for long and successful careers within our state parks system.”
DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks employs park rangers to oversee law enforcement in state parks and forests.
State park ranger and manager trainees must complete a 19-week academy that includes training to learn to provide visitor services, educational programs and information, specifics of equipment use, enforcing rules and commonwealth law, and more.
DCNR holds two ceremonies for graduates annually. Wednesday’s graduates and their associated state parks include:
- Nicholas Albright, Codorus
- Ron Gilliland, Regional Park Manager Trainee
- Karen Hock, Beltzville
- Alexander Hunt, Kinzua Bridge
- Thomas Layden, Regional Park Manager Trainee
- William Milburn, Hickory Run
- Brittany Perdos, Regional Park Manager Trainee
- Haley Redmond, Harrisburg Central Office Park Manager Trainee
- Gregory Romancho, Hickory Run
- Jared Sariol, French Creek
- David Savidge, Codorus
- Kendra Schrek, Raccoon Creek
- Sara Woodsmith, Regional Park Manager Trainee
A ceremony was held May 25 for graduates including:
- Hunter Ammerman, Hills Creek
- Joseph Andrews, Beltzville
- Charles Bassett, Laurel Hill
- Jesse Bohrman, Vosburg
- Chelsea DePoe, Ricketts Glen
- Warren Eckel, Neshaminy
- Justine Evans, Laurel Hill
- Cody Farmery, Parker Dam
- Joshua Fleming, Cowans Gap
- Samual Harwi, French Creek
- Hunter Kauffman, Pine Grove Furnace
- Garrett Layman, Beltzville
- Jacqulyn McHale, Neshaminy
- James Reim, Presque Isle
- Duane Saunders, Hickory Run
- Kelly Sheaffer, Gifford Pinchot
- Preston Wynings, Hickory Run
- Jason Zagropski, Hickory Run
“I am proud of each of these individuals and the commitment to service the have demonstrated through the academy,” State Parks Director John Hallas said. “Completing the ranger academy is a tremendous accomplishment, and I am eager to see them demonstrate what they have learned at their respective parks in the future.”
Those interested in becoming a park ranger must:
- Be a Pennsylvania resident
- Be at least 21 years old
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Must possess a valid certificate or its equivalent in first aid and adult, child and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as provided by the PA Department of Health for professional rescuers or health care professionals at the time of the interview.
- Complete the State Civil Service Commission exam
DCNR manages 124 state parks, 2.2 million acres of state forest lands, and is tasked with conserving and sustaining Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment.
Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget would provide $112 million to maintain and improve infrastructure in parks and forests, which would be the single largest investment in decades. In addition, the budget proposes $2.8 million to support operating needs for the management and safety of our public lands.