Senior hopes to protect national treasures as park ranger

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Austin York

Austin York ’22 plans to turn his love for the outdoors into a career as a park ranger.

The quiet sound of life is all around. No disruptions, not a single sound other than those of birds, deer, and the wind, until a crack of a branch brings all the sounds to rest. Austin York, a senior, has been in nature since he was five years old and after college hopes to become a park ranger.

“I just like being outdoors. I want to do something for this country,” Austin York said. “I like seeing the world all calm, I just go outdoors and can just find myself. I also don’t really like being cramped in a building every day, all day.”

Many of his family have served as park rangers as well. They introduced him to the idea of becoming a member of the park rangers. Although an unusual career path for a Spartan, his family and friends have supported his choice.

The sereneness of America is beautiful to me and should be protected by everyone because it shows us where we came from and how we can keep our planet healthy and beautiful.”

— Austin York

“I think it’s a perfect choice for him,” his mother Rachel York said. “He has always loved nature since he was a kid and he loves hiking, making sure others are safe. It’s also a way to serve others.”

To be a park ranger you have to have a Bachelor’s degree and have to complete the prerequisite training. After being selected they are then trained in a park until they are deemed ready and then are assigned a park by the National Park Service Department.

“There are so many parks that I would love to work at,” York said. “The places that I would like to work the most are in one of the national parks in Alaska, Yosemite, and Yellowstone. To me these parks would be ideal but I would be happy with any park especially if it was in D.C.”

The National Park Service was founded in 1916 by president Woodrow Willison to protect the national monuments of the US. Many believe that Teddy Roosevelt founded the National park service; although he did establish five national parks while president. It was founded to protect the nature of America and allow areas to stay as they were without any human influence.

“I want to see the sunrise, I want to see the sunset,” York said. “The sereneness of America is beautiful to me and should be protected by everyone because it shows us where we came from and how we can keep our planet healthy and beautiful.”