Some of you may be under the impression that there are special park elves who magically clean all the San Mateo County Parks restrooms, but you’ll be interested to hear that, in fact, it is the mighty Park Rangers and Park Aides who do this very “colorful” job! While I wouldn’t describe cleaning bathrooms as my favorite job doody (see what I did there?), it is one of the most crucial things we do. We all know how unpleasant it is to walk into a public restroom only to find…I’ll let you use your imagination here…so we pride ourselves on keeping our restrooms neat and tidy.

I won’t go into poo (er…I mean too) much detail about the things I’ve seen, nor will I share with you some of the very impressive photos I’ve collected over the years, because let’s face it, no one really wants to read or see that. Unless you do, in which case you should sign up immediately to be a Ranger or Park Aide with San Mateo County!

What I will tell you is that there are certain…mystical people….let’s call them… elusive experts of erroneously placed excrement, masters of manure, doctors of dung, wizards of waste, scholars of stool…who sometimes visit our restrooms. They constantly keep me wondering, “HOW did this happen?” It’s a question I must ask myself, and one I never really want the answer to.

But have no fear! We rangers are specially trained to handle such soiled situations. Our eyes are trained to detect even the slightest speckle, our noses can sniff out even the smallest spillover, our minds are attuned so sharply to the ways of the parks that in an instant- we’re there! Mess managed- poop plunged- sparkles of sterilization and cleanliness shine off of the toilets and sinks and floors with pride!

If you’re still with me and haven’t clicked away from this post with a scoff of disgust, I would like to reassure you again that you need not fear using parks restrooms (well- I can only speak for San Mateo County Parks restrooms). Again, we really do take pride in keeping our facilities clean and stocked for all your needs, and we only run into the types of restroom disasters I so lovingly avoided describing every…so often…(though isn’t that still too often?) We also love hearing your feedback-if you notice a particularly beautiful bathroom, let a Ranger or Park Aide know how much you appreciate their hard work. On the contrary, if you ever see something a little more…unsettling…that we haven’t addressed quite yet, find us and we’ll get right to it!

Happy trails! Here are some pictures of pretty flowers from the Hazelnut Trail at San Pedro Valley Park to help you get the image of parks restrooms out of your mind ☺