OC Community Resources OC Parks Ranger Reserve Program
Since October 2010, Ranger Reserve Russell Onkka has dedicated more than 1,500 hours of service, providing quality programs for OC Parks’ visitors that focus on Orange County’s diverse natural resources.
Russell currently serves as the president of OC Parks’ Ranger Reserve program and was the vice president in 2012. In these leadership roles, he oversees the program’s administrative tasks, coordinates volunteer assignments, helps train new Ranger Reserves and prepares monthly agendas. In addition, he oversees a variety of interpretive programs that offer educational opportunities for the community. Russell volunteers approximately 100 hours per month and has assumed additional duties to support the full-time program coordinator. This level of commitment is far beyond the 16 hours per month that Ranger Reserves are typically required to schedule.
In 2012, the Ranger Reserve program celebrated its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary. As part of the celebration, Russell developed, staffed and organized five public interpretive events throughout Orange County that showcased the Reserve program and OC Parks. The events, which included nature hikes, hands-on activities and site-specific educational materials, attracted more than 1,000 visitors. In planning for the anniversary celebration, Russell contacted vendors, helped design promotional items and trained and scheduled Reserve staff to oversee each location. Russell attended all five events, and his efforts resulted in a successful program that offered the public an enjoyable experience and a greater understanding of and appreciation for Orange County’s rich natural resources.
Through his volunteer efforts, Russell assists with resource management and the development of interpretive opportunities. He is committed to providing OC Parks’ visitors with quality recreational experiences and educational activities. An excellent example of his volunteer commitment occurred when he and another reserve realized that the Santiago Oaks Regional Park Nature Center was seldom open to the public and in need of maintenance. They addressed the maintenance issues, developed several nature hikes and interpretive programs, and for the past year, staffed the nature center once a month. Russell can be counted on to demonstrate exceptional leadership and initiative in every aspect of his volunteer endeavors. He is a valued member of the OC Parks’ Ranger Reserve program.
Thank you and congratulations to Ranger Reserve Russell Onkka, Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner!
Click here to find out how you can volunteer with the OC Parks, Adopt-A-Park Program.