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Scenes of the City: SF Ranger Profile and Ride-along

Meet San Francisco Head Park Ranger Marcus Santiago, an 11-year veteran of the San Francisco Parks Department.

For this week's Scenes of the City we rode along with RPD Marcus Santiago for a couple of his patrol hours and documented his routine to show the enormity of his job.

All photos and copy by Joseph Schell

Every year, approximately 13 million visitors make Golden Gate Park part of their agenda. A large part of Santiago's job is maintaining the 1,017 acres that make up the giant rectangle in the middle of our city.

Santiago's patrol takes him all over the park, from the more heavy trafficked areas to the more hidden scenic backroads.

With around 225 total parks in San Francisco and more dogs than children (or so said Santiago), the Rangers are kept busy dealing with leash laws and enforcing other dog related restrictions.

An intricate system of roads make up the patrol through the park, so as to be able to locate any issues. Santiago mentioned two issues he deals with regularly are the steady homeless population who have made the parks their home and patrons smoking in the park.

Near the park's Dutch Windmill in the western end, Ranger Santiago nears the end of his juristiction. At the Great Highway, where Golden Gate Park meets the ocean, the patrol and maitenance responsibilities are handed over to the Feds.

Here are just a few of the millions of visitors that make their way through Golden Gate Park every year.

Santiago made his way through a transitional storage yard where graffiti has been a problem. The parks department is considering adding more fields to the adjacent turf soccer fields, he said.

Checking in on a call while on patrol, Santiago made sure his services weren't immediately needed elsewhere in the park.

Dropping us off at 501 Stanyan (park headquarters) Santiago headed out for more patrol, to check up once again on the thousands of acres that make up the San Francisco parks system.