At work with: A park ranger at Lewis and Clark State Park

Jackie Johnson, left, and Zachary Audette at work at Lewis and Clark State Park in Epping.

As Williston celebrates another high school graduation, starry eyed graduates have some interesting options outside of the oil field.

Although the oil field does offer some good jobs, some young adults have other aspirations in mind. Even if they are not 100 percent sure what they want, Zachary Audette, a recently appointed Park Ranger at Lewis and Clark State Park, wants young graduates to know that there is a new thing to learn every day as a seasonal worker at the park.

From interacting with tourists and travelers from as far as Australia, to learning how to repair park equipment to teaching younger kids all about local wildlife, there is always a way to have fun outside and maybe even help find a permanent career path.

Jackie Johnson, a former physical education teacher at Williams County Public School District No. 8 who has more recently transferred to Williston Public School District No. 1, enjoys the opportunity to work and have fun outside.

She says summer time sees a lot of teachers who do seasonal work, so former students may have the opportunity to work and learn with some of their favorite teachers.

“Park rangers are a sort of jack of all trades” Audette said.

He, Johnson and the other park employees do everything from mowing trails and pathways to sorting out reservations and camping activities in the park. This summer. some of the parks projects include removing driftwood from the swimming areas and replacing road markers throughout the park.

Rangers also have a chance to change the park experience for visitors. Katie Ogden, a ranger at Lewis and Clark, started a dog park at the park this year.

There are also many events at the park this year, including Halloween in June which is June 14 to 16 and Family Fun Weekend, which is Aug. 2 through 4.

As an avid soccer player, Johnson relishes the outdoor exercise working for the park has to offer. Both Audette and Johnson encourage fresh graduates to come learn more about working for the park.

For information about the park, email lcsp@nd.gov or call 701-859-3071.

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