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Park Ranger – ZEED

Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) is a CAPRA-accredited and AZA-accredited, independent park district that leads efforts to build a healthy, sustainable community.  Metro Parks Tacoma is located in Tacoma, Washington. The system is comprised of many different park facilities that offer residents a variety of recreational opportunities. From waterfront access to local neighborhood parks to large regional facilities and attractions, the MPT system is both a local community asset and regional destination.


These eight core values will guide future decisions, business and operations, and the manner in which MPT treats staff, customers and the community:

  • Innovation •Excellence •Equity    •Inclusiveness    •Sustainability   •Accountability •Safety  •Fun


Under the direction of the assigned Manager, the ZEED (Zoological and Environmental Education Department) Ranger promotes and supports visitors’ positive park use and voluntary compliance with all laws (specifically the TMC Park Code 8.27) through education and visitor service assistance throughout Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and/or Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Rangers are the “eyes and ears” of the park and will serve dual but complementary roles: in the Guest Engagement role, the Ranger enhances the visitor experiences as a uniformed representative of Metro Parks Tacoma, builds relationships, creates community, , and assists in the operations of the their assigned area.  In the Compliance and Patrol role, the Ranger, serving in an unarmed position, seeks voluntary compliance with park code within park boundaries; patrols park areas by vehicle, bike or on foot, responds to emergencies and resolves visitor complaints; prepares and completes reports and may be required to appear in court.  It is stressed that in both roles, the Ranger will serve as a friendly and respectful ambassador for the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and/or Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

In the performance of their respective tasks and duties all employees are expected to conform to the following:
• Perform quality work within deadlines with or without direct supervision.
• Interact professionally with other employees, customers and suppliers.
•Work effectively as a team contributor on all assignments.
• Work independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with other employees and organizations.
• Observe applicable safety requirements, use safety equipment provided, implement appropriate safety practices at all times and report immediately any unsafe working conditions or hazards.


Advises visitors and answers questions or concerns about safety, fire prevention, and proper and authorized uses of facilities; inspects facilities and checks for compliance with rules and regulations pertaining to parking, noise level, and safety; brings problems or violations to the attention of visitors and, if appropriate, alerts proper public safety authorities for enforcement.

Seeks voluntary park code compliance through tact, diplomacy and visitor education; will patrol park areas by vehicle, bike or on foot, responds to emergencies and resolves visitor complaints; completes reports and may be required to appear in court;

Assists with emergency calls and takes action where necessary to preserve the peace and to protect visitors and resources; provides limited emergency first aid and other appropriate assistance, and identifies, protects, and obtains evidence.

Deters negative activity through a uniformed, diplomatic, and authoritative presence by communicating laws and regulations regarding park and facility use; directs pedestrian traffic, and maintains crowd control, when needed; investigates accidents, complaints, disturbances, and other problems.

Works cooperatively with law enforcement, Tacoma Public Schools Security, and contracted security providers on site regarding public safety issues and/or developing deterrent programs and strategies, awareness of park code violations, etc.

Where possible, check with users of  the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek Wildlife Park who are renting facilities, to answer questions, provide assistance if requested, and ensure such use conforms with appropriate rules, regulations, and rental agreements.

Answers visitors’ questions about Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and Regional Parks such as amenities, attractions, programs, events and other recreational areas.

Encourage, inspire, and motivate guests to take on conservation actions in their daily lives and support seasonal personnel and/or volunteers engaged in interpretive programs.

Learn applicable emergency response procedures and protocols in order to assist with or lead the response to incidents on site.

Coordinate new employee orientation covering safety, emergency procedures, and site familiarization.

Performs related duties as assigned.


A minimum of two (2) years of customer service.

Two (2) years of college-level study or training directly relating to Parks and Recreation, Leisure Services, Criminal Justice, Social Services, or other applicable field. Two additional years of customer service may substitute for the college level education.

Ability to effectively and respectfully engage with community members from diverse backgrounds and experiences in order to resolve potentially contentious or difficult situations;

Must be at least 21 years of age;

Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license with acceptable driving record.

Must have or be able to attain a valid First Aid, CPR (adult and child) and AED certification;

Must be willing and able to work various shifts, including evenings, weekends and holidays;

Must attend and successfully complete required training within specified time lines;

The ZEED Ranger is required to attend public meetings, training sessions, events and conferences and professionally represent Metro Parks Tacoma.


40 hours per week

• High comfort level in dealing with the public and media.
• Emergency medical situations with visitors of all ages.
• Indoor and outdoor environment.
• Adverse weather conditions.
• Noise, dust, pollen and insects.

• Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate computer keyboard, other office equipment and a motor vehicle.
• Standing for extended periods of time.
• Walking, kneeling, bending or crouching.
• Hearing and speaking to exchange information and make presentations.
• Seeing to read and develop materials, prepare records and reports.
• Walking over rough or uneven surfaces.
• Ability to lift at least 40 lbs to shoulder height.
• Ability to assist individuals with mobility limitations including, but not limited, in and out of vehicles and up and down stairs.
• Walking, running, standing and climbing several levels of stairs on a routine basis.

• Contact with dissatisfied or abusive individuals.
• May work in close contact with wild and dangerous animals.


All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability or any other merit factor. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

MPT employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

MPT is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource (253) 305-1089 or

Employment is subject to a national background check.

This position is an at-will position with no written or implied contractual agreement.

Park Ranger – ZEED Supplemental Questionnaire

  • Do you meet the minimum qualifications of this position to include at least 2 years of customer service experience with 2 years of college level course work OR 4 years of customer service experience?
  • Please explain why you feel you are the most qualified candidate for this position, highlighting specific skills, personal attributes or other experience and knowledge that you will bring to the position.
  • Do you have any driving tickets, accidents and/or infractions listed on your abstract of complete driving record? If yes, please explain. (Please note: if selected you will be required to provide a complete driving abstract).
  • Required Question