About the Junior Ranger Program
“The Junior Ranger Program creates an enriching work experience dedicated to preserving land through trail maintenance, stewardship and resource management service. Through our work, we foster awareness, knowledge and respect for natural and human communities while cultivating personal growth.”
Junior Rangers serve for one of two sessions during the summer and are led by a well-trained crew of team leaders and program staff, or Rangers for the Youth Rangers crew. The Junior Ranger Program is based on service learning, which is an experiential education approach that combines learning objectives with community service to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs. As Junior Rangers, youth gain practical work skills while learning how maintenance and restoration projects impact larger environmental systems.
The Junior Ranger Program is now the overarching name for two tracks. Applicants can choose between the Youth Ranger Crew or the Conservation/Trail Crews.
The Conservation/Trail Crews work on trail maintenance and construction, forestry, vegetation, agriculture, and ecological restoration projects. Crews are led by team leaders who have backgrounds in outdoor education, leadership, and conservation. Team leaders create opportunities for Junior Rangers to learn about the natural world and gain valuable work and life skills. The Conservation/Trail Crews work closely with many OSMP workgroups. This provides Junior Rangers the opportunity to explore careers in natural resources and become confident stewards of public lands and leaders in their community.
Youth Ranger Crew
The Youth Ranger Crew is an opportunity for Junior Rangers to work closely with law enforcement Ranger Naturalists from OSMP. Junior Rangers participate in skills-based training in natural resource management and customer service while exploring career paths in conservation. Junior Rangers are exposed to various aspects of what it means to be park rangers, and by engaging in experiential trainings, participants developed skills that can be applied to their academic and professional pursuits. The Youth Ranger Crew provides Junior Rangers the opportunity to interact with law enforcement officers on a daily basis to help youth build positive connections with law enforcement and professionals in natural resource protection.
Junior Rangers join a long legacy of service to OSMP. Established in 1965 to create jobs for young people and help them develop work skills while maintaining Boulder’s public lands, the Junior Ranger Program has now employed over 4,000 youth. Since then, the program has built a legacy of community stewards who have a personal investment in the future of OSMP and all public lands. Graduates of the program carry their experience into the future by seeking future jobs in conservation, motivating siblings and friends to serve in the program, returning to OSMP as full-time staff, or continuing their experience as Junior Ranger Program staff.
The core mission of the Junior Ranger program is to develop lifelong stewards of the natural world; and every year, Junior Rangers embrace this mission. Through daily conservation work, Junior Rangers gain a sense of awareness for the natural world and accomplishment for a job well done. They build the confidence to give back to their communities through collaboration, decision making, responsibility, reflection, and service.
Year End Report
2019 Program Report (Includes Conservation/Trail and Youth Ranger Crews) - forthcoming!
Youth Presentations to the OSMP Board
2019: Thank you Max and Lily for so eloquently sharing what this program is about! Start watching at 4:15 minutes to see the whole segment on Junior Rangers, or at 15:30 to hear Lily and Max speak.
2018: Thank you Brooke, Ty, Carina, Fiona, Hannah, Chris, and Connor for presenting to the Open Space Board of Trustees about your experiences working for the program. Start watching at 15:30 minutes into the meeting to see them speak