Family, Service, Traditions - I am honored to serve as President of the Florida Park Service Ranger Association, an organization that is dedicated to supporting Park Rangers who serve Florida’s award-winning state parks by preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.
I grew up in Northeastern Colorado surrounded by a large family and many friends who supported me throughout my life. After graduating from Colorado State University in 2003, I moved to Florida to pursue my dream of living near the ocean. My career in the Florida Park Service began in 2005 when I was hired as a Park Ranger at Talbot Islands State Parks. I attended my first Family Fun Day in 2009 and quickly realized this organization would be my new support network as my dream of living near the ocean evolved into a rewarding career and amazing lifestyle.
In 2012, my family experienced a medical challenge and faced unexpected expenses. Thanks to a caring co-worker, I was nominated to receive financial assistance from the James Cook Humanitarian Relief Fund. I received a check in the mail accompanied by a letter telling me that my Florida Park Service family heard about our hardship and wanted to support us as we faced the road to recovery. The commitment of the Ranger Association to support the people who serve is strong!
There are many opportunities for you to help us remain strong. Donate to the James Cook Relief Fund, nominate recipients for our Carlos Maxwell and Joe Knoll awards, become a member, and join us at one of our annual gatherings. You can attend our annual meeting and help raise money for the James Cook Relief Fund during our Arnold Kuenzler and Family Annual Auction, demonstrate cast iron cooking at the Yesterday’s Festival, camp and serve with us at the Florida Folk Festival, celebrate with us at the Family Fun Day and meet up with your friends at one of our Ranger Rendezvous throughout the year.
I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and members of this organization to continue our long-standing traditions, provide service to our beautiful state parks, and support my Florida Park Service family.
Michelle Waterman, President