Citizens Park Ranger Academy

Abilene State Park Citizens’ Park Ranger Academy helps area residents learn about their local state park. Consider the academy a gateway to building long-lasting partnerships. After attending, students should have an in-depth understanding and appreciation of Abilene and the Texas State Park system, our staff, and Texas State Parks’ purpose and mission.

Students meet from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday for four weeks. Enrollment is limited.

  • Week 1: Welcome and Archeology of Abilene State Park - How we preserve our cultural resources. Sharing the past for the future.
  • Week 2: Maintenance - The inner working of a state park from water, power, and waste water. Mowers, tractors and more.
  • Week 3: Law Enforcement - Protecting our natural and cultural resources while serving our community, educating all, and enforcing all state laws.
  • Week 4: Wildland Fire - How we manage our natural resources and fight to keep it. Prescribed burns, training and response.

If you are interested in the academy, or need more information, email Robert Enckhausen.


  • Citizen’s Park Ranger Academy (CPRA) students must be 15 years of age or older to attend without a parent. Students between 13-15 years old must have a parent or guardian enroll also. Students 13 to 17 years old must be enrolled in middle school, high school, or the equivalent.
  • Attending the CPRA is a privilege. We may ask students to leave the park if they become disruptive or are unable to follow safety protocols.
  • Students must sign a Texas State Park waiver to participate in CPRA activities. 
  • Students may not bring their children to the park unless they arrange adequate supervision. The park is unable to provide child care for CPRA students. Children can only attend the academy if they are CPRA students. 
  • Students must be prepared to walk, hike, crawl, dig, stand, jump, lift, and take on other physically demanding tasks as part of the CPRA. Students should immediately tell park staff if they are unable to perform any tasks. Students will still be able to participate, but may only be able to observe other students and staff.

There next academy will be at Dinosaur Valley State Park in April 2017.