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TPWD News Release — July 12, 2013

First-Ever Citizens Park Ranger Academy Slated for Dinosaur Valley State Park

GLEN ROSE – Fans of Dinosaur Valley State Park and persons interested in discovering what it’s like to be a state park ranger are invited to sign up for the Citizens Park Ranger Academy that begins on Saturday, Aug. 17.

The eight-week course, which runs through Oct. 5, will consist of two- to three-hour classes each Saturday, starting at approximately 7 a.m. Academy participants must be at least 15 years of age and reside or own a business in Somervell (home to Dinosaur Valley State Park), Bosque, Erath, Hood or Johnson county. Residents of other counties are encouraged to apply and will be considered. There is no cost to attend the academy and class size is limited to 35.

Dinosaur Valley State Park police officer Robert Enckhausen says he sees the citizens academy as a way to help area residents and local business community members better understand their local state park and to garner greater park support. The classes will be taught by park staff.

“I consider this academy a gateway to building long-lasting partnerships,” Enckhausen says. “Academy graduates should gain an in-depth appreciation of Dinosaur Valley, the state park’s purpose and mission, and a greater understanding of the Texas State Park system.”

He says program participants must be physically and mentally prepared to walk, hike, crawl, dig, stand, jump, lift and perform other physically demanding tasks as part of the academy. Academy graduates will receive a certificate and t-shirt.

Academy students will be exposed to various areas of park operations, trained in search-and-rescue and wildland firefighting techniques, and learn about park interpretive programs. On most days, students will be asked to apply their new-found skills in simulated scenarios.

Persons interesting in enrolling in the academy can obtain an application from Enckhausen by calling (254) 897-4588 or e-mailing him at:,

Dinosaur Valley State Park, located just northwest of Glen Rose in Somervell County, is a 1,524-acre scenic park set astride the Paluxy River. Opened in 1972, the park is world-renowned for its ancient dinosaur tracks found in the river bed.