“Where are the bathrooms?” “How do I get to Potato Chip rock?” “Can I swim in the lake?”
Ask our Lake Poway Park Rangers just about any question and they’ll have an answer ready for you. But ask them about their jobs – and that might take a little more explaining.
Senior Ranger Vince Lussier shares that the rangers primarily focus on public health and safety, while being a source of information for the city parks and trails, lake operations, and facility rentals. Senior Ranger Coleman Cowling adds that rangers educate visitors about trail usage, local plants and animals, lake fishing, and park rules and regulations.
But that just scratches the surface. The rangers also plan and host the lake’s seasonal campouts, summer concert series and themed hikes. They come to the aid of boaters if their engine stalls on the lake. They respond to hikers in distress and assess if they need medical assistance. They relocate snakes, tarantulas and scorpions in the park, and work with animal rehabilitation groups to get help for injured wildlife.
And while the rangers approach their work with a strong emphasis in customer service, they don’t lose sight of one of their most impactful responsibilities. In addition to being a recreational oasis, Lake Poway is a 1-billion-gallon reservoir for what ultimately becomes the city’s drinking water. The rangers are guardians of this critical city resource and monitor lake use and enforce the rules designed to keep it safe.