A Day in the life of Trail Ranger
WABA’s Trail Rangers are a near-constant presence on DC’s trails, and they work harder than just about anybody else around here. Here, for the first time, is your chance to experience a day in the life of a Trail Ranger. Enjoy!
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Photo credit: 501pix Photography
All is quiet at 6:30 am
Grabbing the tools for the day
Checklists are a vital part of a smooth operation (who remembers everything at 6:30 am?!) Part of having 10 part-time team members means we need organized written communication
We recycle what we can but contamination means we must trash some recyclables as well. Paper bags for glass, clear bags for recycling and thin & thick black bags for trash.
We go through a lot of sunscreen
Checking the shift details clipboard one last time
Trailers require careful navigation
For the next 6 hours, the team will be on the bikes.
And we’re on the trail now – Frederick Douglass Bridge on the Anacostia River Trail
First task of the day: remove the popup trail etiquette signs we had installed on the Anacostia River Trail for a busy weekend before heading to Marvin Gaye Trail, the assigned trail for the shift
The first trail etiquette sign of the day
The new Kenilworth section of the Anacostia River Trail is a pretty great place to be
And now its off to Marvin Gaye Trail. First task, assessing what trimming is needed – it’s a balancing act. Trail maintenance standards call for 2′ vegetation free buffer on the side and 10′ tall but we also want to maintain the habitat and shade of the trail.
We strive to deposit trash on site as much as we can – less to bike around!
Trash and glass make riding unpleasant and unsafe
Marvin Gaye Trail is busy!
Documenting another blowdown from a summer storm
Clearing up the leaves
Lunch at Marvin Gaye Recreation Center (not pictured: an excellent musical themed splash park)
Back on the Marvin Gaye Trail. The flagging tape is useful to warn other road and trail users of our long broom handles
Trails are not just where we work, they are also good connectors to the other trails we ride. Up the Metropolitan Branch Trail back to the office.
Whew, back to the office to finish up reports for the day, put the supplies away and clock out at 2:30 pm.
Thinking through the shift to report on what we did – exactly how many people did we talk to? On the wall: our six bike fleet is a tight fit but we have bikes in all sizes to fit a varied team
All vegetation gloves are washed before being used again to stop the transfer of potential poison ivy oil
Behind the scenes (L-R): Tom (DC Trail Ranger/501pix Photography), Ursula (Program Coordinator), Daniel (DC Trail Ranger) and Trey (DC Trail Ranger)
Whew! That was quite a ride, wasn’t it? Next time you see a Trail Ranger be sure to give them a wave and a smile. They’re working hard to make the trail better for all of us.
Full photo shoot can be found here