The following information was prepared by Rod Wallace, retired Park Warden, as a response to a recent enquiry about Park Warden hat badges and their history …
History of Park Warden hat badges by Rod Wallace …
“A recent PWAS info request on these pro to type badges lead me to do some research on the situation.
National Park Wardens have always taken great pride in wearing the “ID” stetson, or winter “fur” hat badge, as a means of identification since the earliest days of the Warden Service. It was considered a recognition of the authority vested in a Warden, or senior Parks Officer (Supt etc.), to enforce park regulations under the National Parks Act of Canada. Various designs were used, including a circular design, the King or Queen’s “Crown”, and the symbol of the PC beaver. Badges were originally issued in sequential numbers (lowest first) to Park Wardens, and senior Parks Officers for many decades up until the mid seventies, when bilinqual badges were incorporated.
In the late seventies several new designs were submitted to Ottawa headquarters in a design competition for use by Wardens and Parks Officers across Canada. The winning design was one incorporating the “Crown”, a beaver with a number underneath, and a series of 10 Maple leafs beneath (presumably to represent 10 provinces). The main problem with the beaver design was what was considered a poor representation of the beaver (considered by many “pregnant”). Also there was no designation of “PARKS OFFICER” (presumably to get around the bilingual requirement). Approximately one hundred sets of two were produced, most with numbers, and submitted to a Chief Warden conference for approval. The Chief Wardens rejected the new badge, and emphatically stated they would not subject their staff to such an embarrssment.
A new design was crafted, and eventually approved, which used the female “Crown”, 12 Maple leafs (10 Provinces & 2 Territories), with a “decent” beaver, number, and PARK WARDEN, GARDE DE PARC. Many new National Parks and Historic Sites had been created in both eastern Canada, and the North, and bilingualism firmly established, resulting in a need to update Park Warden Badges.
Examples of these most recent Park Warden badges are pictured below, and are presently valued in excess of $200 plus, on the secondary market.
Even the “Porky” badge, that was never used .
Rod Wallace, PWAS BOD and retired Park Warden.”
The last & most recent Park Warden ID was in the form of a sequentially numbered shield, which was not designed to be worn on the Stetson or fur hat, but a numberless badge was issued instead for that purpose …