Love Of The Job Motivates Army Park Ranger
by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chuck Walker
December 10, 2022
Success in life can often be measured in
many ways. Some consider financial wealth a sign of success. For
some it might be prestige or fame. While others might consider
family accomplishments or attaining certain goals a measure of
In a recent article on the secrets of success,
Forbes Magazine found that loving your job is an important precursor
to success. That if you enjoy what you do, your motivation to
improve is innate, as opposed to forced, which results in success.
Anne Loper, a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Black Warrior-Tombigbee Resource Management Office in Demopolis,
Alabama, is a living embodiment of the theory of the article.
a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park ranger at Black
Warrior-Tombigbee Resource Management Office, examines native grasses at Foscue Park in Demopolis, Alabama
on December 6, 2022. Loper, who is responsible for the native grasses program at the park, said the project is coming along nicely and that the grasses have enhanced not only the beauty, but the natural conservation of the park. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Chuck Walker)
Loper, who has been a ranger for the past 11 years, said that
the variety of each day on the job, makes things interesting and
aids in the enjoyment of her job.
“My day is always different
and filled with the unexpected, so it certainly does not get
boring,” Loper said. “What I like most is planning and carrying out
special projects with the Friends of Foscue Cooperative Association,
volunteer park hosts and our community. Some examples are the
following: Spring Break Bash for Special Needs students, Pickin’ and
Grinnin’ for Foscue campers, Community Easter Egg Hunt, Outdoor
Adventure Day Camp and special park improvement projects with
Considering success, it is ironic that a
promotion on a previous job, helped pave the way for her move to
USACE as park ranger.
After being promoted to district
conservationist with U.S. Department of Agriculture, she found
moving to a desk job unfulfilling.
“As a district
conservationist I did not get to work directly with the farmers and
producers as I once did as a soil conservationist,” Loper said. “I
just pushed paper and did not see the direct results of landowner
stewardship and conservation practices implementation on the ground.
The job became less fulfilling, and I truly missed working directly
with the farmers on site.”
The transition to a park ranger
was a great fit for Loper because of the enjoyment she gets from
working directly with the public.
Jason Cassity, BWT site
manager and Loper’s supervisor, said Loper is the epitome of what a
USACE ranger should be.
“When it comes to representing the
Corps, there is no better ambassador than Anne,” Cassity said. “Her
ability to connect with people is second to none. No matter the
situation, whether it’s public speaking or general visitor
assistance, people leave the conversation, time and time again, with
a positive image of her and the agency she represents. Every office
would be better served with someone like her.”
Loper grew up
in Marengo County about 10 miles west of Demopolis. She and her
husband Anthony Loper are the primary caregivers of Anne’s Mom,
Margaret, who was diagnosed with cancer.
She said the
teamwork and camaraderie she feels for her co-workers is another
reason she loves her job and loves working at the BWT.
positive support I receive from family and friends allows me to look
forward to my job each day with the goal of helping others,” Loper
said. I really don’t feel my job is difficult, it is a matter of
treating people the way you would like to be treated. I am very
fortunate to have such a wonderful job in my hometown where I
believe I can make a difference in an area special to me.”
the 11 years Loper has been a ranger she has accomplished a lot. She
started a native grasses campaign that allows natural native grasses
to grow so they can reduce the mowing cost for the park. She leads
the Spring Break Bash for special needs students and works directly
with the volunteer hosts who work the gate and clean the restrooms
of the parks.
Her advice to anyone who wants to become a
ranger is to consider the rewards, just like she did, and to realize
that all rewards aren’t monetary.
“Being a park ranger can be
a rewarding position, because you never have the same day,” Loper
said. “Once you complete your assigned duty responsibilities you can
be creative and focus on areas where you get fulfillment. My days
are always filled with something unexpected, so it certainly isn’t
boring. I love my job because I love helping others and feeling like
I made a difference.”
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