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Ridge Rangers


Ridge Rangers 25th Anniversary

The Ridge Rangers are an organization of volunteers helping to restore wildlife habitat on the Lake Wales Ridge and nearby areas in central Florida by doing group workdays and individual efforts directly on conservation areas.

The Ridge Rangers are sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and work with all conservation agencies on the Lake Wales Ridge.

There are no obligations and no dues to be a Ridge Ranger. We hope you can join us!

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Volunteer Opportunities

  • We help to restore and enhance native habitat, with activities like planting seedlings, removing invasive species, removing old debris and fences, collecting and sowing native seeds, and maintaining a native plant nursery.
  • We help efforts to re-introduce and support rare and endangered species on the Lake Wales Ridge like the scrub lupine, scrub-jays, red cockaded woodpeckers, sand skinks, and many others.
  • We support biologists working on the Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem by doing scientific research and GPS/GIS mapping.
  • See the Ridge Rangers calendar for more information on upcoming events.

More Information

The Ridge Ranger Volunteer Coordinator (pictured upper right) and volunteers, with the FWC's Ridge Rangers, plant scrub-oaks as part of Project Acorn...a multi-year effort by the Ridge Rangers to gather and pot scrub-oak acorns, maintain the sprouts, and plant the resulting baby oaks in damaged scrub-oak habitat on the Lake Wales Ridge.

We ask that all participants complete a Ridge Rangers Application, which can be done quickly and easily.

There are two steps in the Ridge Rangers application process. The first is to enter your information in the online form (all items marked with an asterisk (*) are required). You will receive an additional form in the mail after your online form is received. The second step is to sign the form you receive in the mail before or on your first workday.

Because the Ridge Rangers occasionally work with children, a background check may occur on persons applying to the program.

The Ridge Rangers calendar shows all upcoming events and workdays. Click any of the activities within the calendar to see more about the event or workday:  where and when we will meet, what we will do, and what to bring.

You can sign-up directly for an event or workday without an account in the calendar system (but having an account will make the sign-up easier). Click on the "Register" icon in the event details to sign-up within the calendar. See the Ridge Rangers Calendar Account Guide for a few "sign-up" pointers. 

You may fill out the contact us form to learn more about the Ridge Rangers program, including how to join. You will receive a brochure and an application for the Ridge Rangers program.

E-mail the Ridge Rangers Coordinator or call 863-699-3937 for all other needs.

The mailing address for the Ridge Rangers program is:

Ridge Rangers
1630 Royce Ranch Avenue
Lake Placid, FL 33852

Volunteers, with the FWC's Ridge Rangers, enjoy watermelon as they surround one of 350 scrub oaks they planted in the FWC’s Royce Unit Scrub Restoration area.

Donate to the Ridge Rangers program through the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

The Ridge Rangers monthly newsletter includes our upcoming schedule as well as news about the program and the Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem and nearby areas.

Please visit the FWC's GovDelivery subscription page to receive the Ridge Rangers newsletter. You will start receiving the newsletter with the next month’s issue, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Volunteers, with the FWC's Ridge Rangers, assist scientists with a rare plant survey in the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest.

Ridge Rangers working independently are requested to report their hours every month. There are three ways to report your hours:  pencil and paper, excel or e-mail - please pick the one easiest for you.

Please review what to bring and wear. The Ridge Rangers help conservation efforts in a variety of habitats, and you want to be protected from brush and rough terrain as well as the sun while still being dressed comfortably.

Where we work has a downloadable map of the conservation areas where we help in Central Florida, as well as information about the Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem.

Would you like to know more about Ridge Ranger events or workdays? Please see our Workday Frequently Asked Questions.

A volunteer, with the FWC's Ridge Rangers, hugs a pine tree where an artificial nesting cavity for red-cockaded woodpeckers was installed at the Platt Branch Wildlife Environmental Area.

The Ridge Rangers have a photo sharing site on Flickr, where you can see photos of recent Ridge Rangers events or workdays. Have photos from a recent workday that you'd like to share? Send to the Ridge Rangers Coordinator.