Rangers Without Borders

Binational team of Rangers for Wiese Landscape Park (Landschaftspark Wiese)

Landschaftspark Wiese is a popular recreational area for the tri-national agglomeration of Basel. To protect it from the growing ” people pressure”, and so that conflicts of use can be resolved through mediation rather than by banning certain activities, the three local authorities of Weil am Rhein, Riehen and the City of Basel are setting up a German-Swiss Joint Ranger Service to operate during a three-year pilot programme.

Landschaftspark Wiese is essential for the urban-dwelling inhabitants of Weil am Rhein, Lörrach,Basel and Riehen as a recreational area that allows them to be in direct contact with nature right on their doorstep. Everyone loves the Park, be it walkers or dogwalkers, classes of school children, researchers, fitness fanatics, barbecue lovers, or simply those looking for some peace and quiet. In addition to its many leisure uses, however, the Park is also important for drinking water production, agriculture and conservation.

Its different functions and the wide range of activities that take place there means the Park is a valuable part of the landscape on the edge of the neighbouring towns. As the urban density increases and the population in the residential areas continues to grow, the pressure placed on the Park by its many users is becoming significantly greater. Hence the importance of raising awareness about how important the area is, not only as a source of drinking water but also in terms of recreation, nature and agriculture, with a view to ensuring respectful shared use.

A team of Rangers consisting of three Rangers sharing one full-time job will be operating in the Park from 1 February 2019. The team is binational and will patrol both the German and Swiss parts of the Park. The new unit will be a member of the Ranger associations Swiss Rangers and German Ranger Association as well as the ERF (European Ranger Federation). To date all the challenges associated with the international nature of the work (e.g. work permits or the different approaches topark violations due to differences in legislation) have been successfully addressed.

 It goes without saying that the new Rangers are equally confident that any future challenges will also be addressed. It is particularly noteworthy in this context that the binational team is operating on both sides of the border, serving both nature and the public, in line with the ERF: Rangers without borders!

more information about this park: www.landschaftsparkwiese.info/