Colorado Parks & Wildlife's First Female Park Ranger

Today is the 46th anniversary of the first female Park Ranger being hired by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)! Carolyn Armstrong began her career as a seasonal employee in 1971. Then, on April 17th, 1974, she became a Conservation Aide (aka Park Ranger) at Cherry Creek State Park.

Over the course of her career, Carolyn worked as a Park Receptionist, Park Ranger, Acting Regional Manager of the North Region, Park Manager Intern, Park Manager, and much more! She worked at state parks such as Barr Lake and Cherry Creek, becoming a Park Manager at both. In fact, Carolyn Armstrong’s final position with Colorado Parks and Wildlife was as a Park Manager at Cherry Creek State Park in 2006, the same park she made history at when she became CPW’s first female Park Ranger!

Carolyn Armstrong (1974)

Carolyn Armstrong (1974)

Carolyn, Max, Kent, Ron, and Bill together on Carolyn's first day as Barr Lake Park Manager (1975)

"...My favorite [picture] by far is the 1975 one. That was my first day as Park Manager at Barr. It was April 1st and there were only 3 park managers in the metro region - Cherry Creek, Chatfield and Golden Gate ...The PM [Park Manager] at Cherry Creek (Max Vezzani) called me into his office and told me he needed to talk to me. We got into his patrol vehicle and when I questioned where we were going he told me, "Congrats, you're the new PM at Barr Lake." We drove out there and met with the other two managers in the region at that time (Kent Wiley, Golden Gate and Ron Madsen, Chatfield) and the regional manager (Bill Brougham). The [above 1975 group picture] was taken that day. We toured the park - what a mess - and then we all went out to dinner... My actual appointment to Barr was 6/1/1975."

- Carolyn Armstrong

In honor of Carolyn Armstrong, the SOLE squirrel has been named Carolyn! We hope you enjoy the newest member of our SOLE team and take Carolyn the SOLE Squirrel with you when you are visiting a Colorado State Park. See below for a photo of Carolyn the SOLE Squirrel to print out and take with you on your adventures! If you’d like, you can also draw your own Carolyn the SOLE Squirrel.

Carolyn the SOLE Squirrel

Carolyn the SOLE Squirrel Giveaway Contest Winners 2020

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