Part 2: Student Ranger to Ranger
Eva is one of BC Parks’ former student rangers who is now working as a park ranger, based in Goldstream Park. Eva was a Goldstream-based student ranger crew lead for three years, from 2019 to 2021 and did a co-op placement with the Indigenous relations team outside of the summer seasons in 2019 and 2020.
While a student ranger crew lead, Eva worked primarily in the Cowichan, Juan de Fuca, and southern Gulf Islands areas, but also in the Parksville and Tofino areas. She worked in many program areas including education, recreation, outreach and Indigenous relations.
“I have worked in quite a few parks in the southern half of the island, and I have been able to see projects through multiple years.” Eva explains. “That helped fuel my interest in being a ranger – seeing the work we’ve been doing having a positive impact. Every year there would be a slightly different project, and different development and challenges for me.”
Each year, Eva and the student ranger crew she led, would visit Bellhouse Provincial Park to remove the invasive plant species scotch broom. It was hard physical work cutting and then carrying the plants out. Even though the park is small, the crew hiked about 15 km a day going back and forth from the work site to the bin.
Eva and the student ranger crew also worked at Botanical Beach’s awe-inspiring inter-tidal area primarily doing public outreach and education. This included education around inter-tidal areas and bears, and teaching visitors about the importance of keeping hands out of the tidal pools; sunscreen, bug spray and other items on our skin can have an impact on the health of the organisms in the tidal pools.
In 2021, Eva became a ranger while doing a Master of Science in Environmental Practice at Royal Roads University. She thinks that the diversity of the role attracts a lot of people to become rangers, including being able to do long-term planning, actioning tasks in the park, and seeing the results.
“I love that I get to do a lot of different roles – conservation, long-term ecological monitoring, human-wildlife interaction management, recreation, trail building, supporting accessibility in parks.” Eva expressed. “I get to interact with a lot of people in parks – providing information about the parks and helping them with recreation suggestions”.
“Compliance and enforcement are an important part of what we do. Protect the people from the park, the park from the people and the people from the people,” Eva quietly chuckles. “We let people know about a trail that’s unsafe, a wildfire, or a bear in the area if they haven’t checked the website.”
“I really like the conservation focused, long-term ecological monitoring. I’m definitely interested in a career in the environmental sector. I went into the summer of 2019 as a student ranger, not knowing what to expect, but then it was clear, I wanted to stay and work more with BC Parks.”