Austin Parks and Recreation Bark Rangers Program


Bark Ranger Workshops:

The Bark Ranger Digital Workshop is now live! Watch the entire 30 minute video and answer the four questions at the end to become a Bark Ranger. The course will cover useful pet gear, an overview of recreational safety practices, and an introduction to Leave No Trace principals. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and check out our Leave No Trace page for more information.



The health of Austin and Travis County residents and visitors is our highest priority. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 all in-person workshops have been canceled until further notice. For the most recent information pertaining to closures and cancellations please visit the City of Austin's COVID-19 resource page

Service Unit:

Once you have completed the Bark Ranger workshop, either online or in-person, you will have the opportunity to join our Service Unit. The Service Unit is an optional community of Bark Rangers that want to give back to their parks. With each dog creating about 1/2 pound of waste per day, 75 Bark Ranger graduates can prevent 37.5 lbs of waste from being left in parks daily which adds up to about 13,687.5 lbs per year! You may find them in Austin parks, volunteering or educating on responsible dog ownership. If this sounds like you, make sure to attend our next workshop. We hope to see you in our parks soon! 



The purpose of this program is to promote responsible use and enjoyment of city parks by citizens and their pets. Core environmental concepts are introduced including Leave No Trace Principles, Outdoor Safety for Pets, and Park Stewardship for Pet Owners. This program directly supports the Park Ranger’s mission of promoting responsible recreation, cultivating stewardship, and conserving natural resources. 

135 Bark Rangers Graduates and 574 Program Participants since Summer 2018.


1) to reduce the amount of pet waste/bagged pet waste left on trails and in parks;

2) reduce the number of off-leash dogs in on-leash parks;

3) reduce pet/pet owner injuries and deaths due to improper safety measures; and

4) empower pet owners to be park stewards for the Austin park system.

Don’t Be an Off-Leash Offender

Keep recreation on the trails and in our parks safe and fun for everyone. Keep your pets on-leash unless otherwise marked.



Scoop The Poop

Each dog in Austin makes roughly ½ lb of poop per day. Don't be a poop offender.   


Black Poodle wearing Bark Ranger service vest and bandanna while looking into the distance.

Special thank you to our partners:

  • Austin Animal Center
  • Austin Parks Foundation
  • Watershed Protection Department

Contact us:

If you have questions please contact Melissa Hand or Danielle Knapp-Smith


The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. For assistance please contact (512) 974-3914 or Relay Texas 7-1-1.