The Ashtabula County Metroparks has hired Kristen Fortune as its first-ever Park Ranger. Ranger Fortune comes to Ashtabula Metroparks with five years of police and law enforcement experience, including three years as a fulltime patrolman at Roaming Shores and years of experience with the Ashtabula City Police Department. Ms. Fortune was sworn in as the officially designated Park Ranger by Metroparks Board President Paul Carpenter at its July 11 Board of Commissioners monthly meeting.
Metroparks park rangers are uniformed, commissioned law enforcement officers through the Ohio Revised Code and have been through rigorous training through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and will be connected to other law enforcement entities in the county.
“I’m excited to be a part of Ashtabula Metroparks as its first Park Ranger! It is an honor and truly a pleasure being a part of an excellent organization committed to delivering high quality parks and trails to Ashtabula County residents and tourists. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to get our Ranger program off the ground successfully in order to help make your park experiences safe and enjoyable. I was born in Ashtabula County; I had my first baby in Ashtabula County. I care about Ashtabula County,” commented Ranger Fortune.
Ranger Fortune will be working at various hours and times to protect all of Ashtabula County’s Metroparks and trails to keep them safe. “We are really pleased to have someone of Ranger Fortune’s experience and skills as a part of our Metroparks”, added Board President Paul Carpenter.
“We are blessed to have Ranger Fortune join our Metroparks team! Ranger Fortune has experience with nursing, is trained and certified in First Aid and CPR, in working with children and has a passion for the outdoors. Our rangers are Metroparks ambassadors first, crime and mischief deterrents second, and expert law enforcement agents third,” noted Metroparks Executive Director Larry Frimerman. “Not only will our Rangers keep our parks safer, but they will add Ranger presence on top of the already existing Metroparks Bike Patrol. Hopefully, this will send a signal to would-be illegally riding four-wheelers or others that might have gotten into park mischief to respect Ashtabula County’s parks and residents,” Frimerman added.
Ashtabula County Metroparks is an Ohio Revised Code statutory park district providing quality park experiences in eight currently open parks covering nearly 1,000 acres of publicly accessible parkland throughout Ashtabula County and founded in 1959. It owns and manages 28 miles of paved, ADA accessible greenway and bike trails as well as nearly ten miles of primitive trails throughout its park system. Ashtabula County Metroparks is primarily funded through a five year parks levy which passed in 2014, which has permitted the significant expansion of its park holdings and open parks. Metroparks has nearly tripled the number of open parks and publicly accessible acreage as well as adding amenities throughout the Greenway and each of its open parks.
For further information on Metroparks’ ranger program, its parks, events or other activities, please visit the Ashtabula County Metroparks website or Facebook page. You may reserve a pavilion/shelter free or enjoy the many programs offered by park volunteers for your outdoor experiences. You can register on our Facebook page or the Ashtabula County Metroparks website. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (440) 576-0717.