Miguel Marquez'(NBC)
Miguel Marquez'(NBC)

NBC – For years, nature was Miguel Marquez’s escape from the rough streets of Oakland, Calif. Then it became his life.

“It was an outlet for me to get away from the environment I was in,” Marguez said.”It would get us away from the concrete jungle.”

Marquez is a ranger with the U.S. National Park Service. He has worked at Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens and Anacostia national parks in Washington, D.C. and at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.

“When I first put my uniform on, it felt good to put on the uniform and badge, put on the iconic flat hat,” Marquez said.

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Sporting a wiry, mountain man beard, Marquez embraces the nation’s system of canyons, waterways, wildlife, monuments and historical sites.”A park ranger is a storyteller. We protect the environment for future generations to enjoy,” Marquez said.

“A park ranger is a storyteller. We protect the environment for future generations to enjoy,” Marquez said.

“It almost feels like a paid vacation because the work that I do becomes second nature. I love the environment,” said Marquez, 35.

He wants others to feel his love for the outdoors, particularly Latinos who have little or no exposure to the national park system. And he wants the park system to connect with more Hispanics.

“I want to be able to end up in my own backyard and give back to those kids that I once was. People look up to Park Service rangers so a park ranger is a superhero,” he said.

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