The Unsung Heroes of Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park is one of the most visited parks in the country according to statistics provided by the Trust for Public Land.
There are many individuals who play a part in the success of Orlando’s iconic park. Our focus is on the Park Service Specialists, more affectionately known as the “park rangers”.
They play multiple roles at Lake Eola Park, but they may be best known for their care and treatment of the wildlife there.
A walk in the park on any given day, you will see them on foot, on bicycle, or in a service cart canvassing the park to protect the wildlife. They make certain that visitors follow city ordinances regarding care and use of the park premises.
In addition, they care for the 5 varieties of swans and all geese, and ducks that inhabit the area. They keep the visitor swan feeders well stocked so that those who feed the wildlife will be providing them with healthy and nutritious food.
The rangers identify orphaned, injured and sick animals and will accompany them to a local veterinarian in order to seek the best course of treatment.
Often treatment includes follow-up of antibiotics to be administered or to change bandages as required. There are protective pens where the animals may convalesce and heal prior to their return to the wild. The rangers make certain they are fed and cared for during their stay.
During mating season, there is increased activity in the park with the waterfowl. Rangers protect new cygnets, geese, and ducks from large predators or more aggressive birds so that they may all have a chance to live and prosper.
Most recently. The swans have been outfitted with an identifier anklet so that park personnel can keep track of them and more quickly respond to any signs of distress.
According to Quincy Richardson, the Lake Eola Park Manager, the Park Specialists are a “solid group of individuals who go above and beyond their identified responsibilities so that all wildlife and park visitors are safe. Their role is to provide an enjoyable atmosphere for all.”
Rangers provide 24 hour coverage of the park grounds. All visitors should feel comfortable reaching out to them with any concerns about the wildlife. Their telephone number is 407-325-1779.
Orlando is very fortunate to have this highly skilled and caring group to protect and maintain our beloved Lake Eola Park.