Caring for a big park is a really big job! There are thousands of Park fans who volunteer to help clean up and green up the Park and Greenline each year, but there is also a dedicated team that cares for the Park 365 days a year.
The Park’s Rangers + Operations Team are some of the most visible caretakers of this special space, but much of their work takes place right under our noses -- often including projects that are seemingly invisible, but that greatly improve the visitor experience and the life of the plants and animals that make their home on park grounds.
While our team can’t be in all 4,500 acres at once, they do a great job of making it feel like they can! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a closer look at the hard work that goes into caring for this special space!
Park mornings start early! Our gates open at sunrise daily, which requires Rangers to arrive pre-dawn to get the process started. In the dead of winter, some of our team gets to work at 4:30am!
Shelby Farms Park Conservancy’s mission is to manage, operate, restore and improve Shelby Farms Park in partnership with and for the public. The Park Operations Team (aka Park Ops) is responsible for elevating expectations, standards and resources for landscape and facility management and maintenance, while keeping visitor experience in mind. This team is at the forefront of Park care, helping ensure that the 4,500 acres of Shelby Farms Park and 10+ miles of Shelby Farms Greenline are clean, green and safe for the more than 3 million annual visitors that come to run, bike, explore and play in this incredible place.
The Park Operations Team is talented crew! This team is made up of Park Rangers, the Maintenance Team and Operations Coordinators. The team is comprised of innovators, educators and very hard workers. While you may not always see a Ranger or Maintenance crew member when you visit the Park, you will always encounter the impact of their work.
Ops Team installing parking barriers in the newly revamped Hyde Lake Boat Launch parking lot.
From day-to-day care and maintenance of the grounds to long-term improvement projects that will positively improve visitor experiences over time, the Ops team is always thinking about how to keep the Park in tip-top shape.
Operations supervisors planning for a plumbing repair project
The Operations Team works diligently to complete complex improvement and repair projects while minimizing the impact these projects have on visitors. While some of their work would be much easier if the park closed for a day or two, their innovative and creative solutions for keeping as much of the Park open as possible at all times make their work all the more impressive! If there is an opportunity to keep a trail or play space open and safely accessible while work is being done on it, the Ops team will always choose this option.
Ops Team members repairing a bench
Now that you know a little bit about why we do the work we do, stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes posts about the Park crew!
Work is being done by MLG&W near the Walnut Grove bridge at the Wolf River in the Lucius Burch Natural Area. Pleaes be alert in this area.