A Day in the Life of a Park Ranger

Hello my name is Chris Clingan. I have been with Polk County Conservation for approximately two years. I work as a Park Ranger at Jester Park. The best thing about my job is that every day is different. You wake up in the morning with your plans laid out for the day. However, more often than not, my day does not end up as routine as I originally planned.

I became interested working in this field because of my upbringing. I grew up in rural Keokuk County. Ever since I was born my family owned and operated a bison and whitetail deer ranch. To me it was a normal thing, but as I grew older I realized I grew up in a very unique way. I was always outside fishing or hunting.  I developed a great respect for nature. I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting it and advocating the importance of experiencing the world in which we live in.

Chris meeting with a local scout troop
People often ask me what a Park Ranger does. My answer to that is, what don’t we do?
Throughout my career I have:
  • Reintroduced bison to tribal lands
  • Restored oak savannas and remnant prairies
  • Educated thousands of people about the world we live in
  • Been involved in search and rescue operations
  • Re-introduced Osprey along the Mississippi River
  • Worked with the secret service to protect the Vice President of the United States

The list goes on and on! As a peace officer I am called upon to deal with a variety of situations. Fortunately, most of them are minor, but a few of them have turned out to be urgent. All of the Rangers at Polk County Conservation are sworn and dedicated to serving you. My main goal is to provide a safe outdoor environment so that any person can experience some of the things that I have.  Polk County provides excellent opportunities for the public to get outside and recreate in a variety of ways. The most rewarding thing I do is to share my enthusiasm with people and hopefully spark an interest for nature in them.


Popular Posts