Citizens Park Ranger Academy

CPRA 2016 graduates at Dinosaur ValleyDinosaur Valley, Cleburne, and Meridian state parks will host the 6th Citizen’s Park Ranger Academy on four Saturdays in April 2017.

Consider the academy a gateway to building long-lasting partnerships. After attending, you should have an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the three parks, the Texas State Parks system, our staff, and Texas State Parks’ purpose and mission.

We have added a new park and changed the curriculum this year. Registration will open the first week of March and will be first-come, first-served. Register by emailing Robert Enckhausen.


Classes are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • April 1: Field operations (mower, backhoe, loader operations), kayak-boat operations and law enforcement (equipment, training, police self-defense) at Meridian State Park. Lunch provided.
  • April 8: Wildland fire (fire lines, fire shelters, hose races) at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Bring a sack lunch for a ranger-led hike after class.
  • April 15: Natural and cultural resources (wildlife, plants, trail work, historical structures) at Cleburne State Park. Dutch oven lunch provided!
  • April 22: Interpretation (dinosaur tracks, delivering the conservation message) and dinosaur track cleaning at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Graduation; lunch provided. 

For 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 13 and 14 years old must have a parent or adult sponsor enrolled, 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. Please email Robert Enckhausen if you have concerns about the physical aspects of the academy. 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.