Job Opportunities – MN – Parks Management Positions

Minnesota’s State Parks and Trails management team is looking for a few good managers!  Our Division Leadership Team seats our regional managers on a level playing field with our section managers. Our big, beautiful system includes 75 state parks and recreation areas; 1,500 public water accesses; 25 state trails/35 water trails; and tens-of-thousands of miles of system and grant-in-aid snowmobile, cross-country ski and off-highway vehicle trails.  We are looking for managers who are innovators, creative problem solvers, skilled operational supervisors, and multi-culturally competent.

Please note that the closing date is June 26, and we are asking for 3, 300-word write-ups on key aspects of the regional manager positions. If you have any questions, please contact Deputy Director Phil Leversedge at phil.leversedge@state.mn.us.

Click here to go to the Minnesota careers website. Or, click on the position number below to go directly to a particular posting.

Parks & Trails Central Region Manager – 33077

Agency: Natural Resources Dept | Location: St. Paul | Job Family: Management Careers | Posted Date: 05/30/2019

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Parks & Trails Northwest Region Manager – 33179

Agency: Natural Resources Dept | Location: Bemidji | Job Family: Management Careers | Posted Date: 05/30/2019

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Parks & Trails Southern Region Manager – 33163

Agency: Natural Resources Dept | Location: New Ulm | Job Family: Management Careers | Posted Date: 05/30/2019

Assistant Regional Manager- State Prog Admin Manager – 33131

Agency: Natural Resources Dept | Location: St. Paul | Job Family: Management Careers | Posted Date: 05/30/2019

 

Trails Are Life … Arkansas State Parks

 

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“These trails mean life to me, physically and mentally,” hiker Jerry Brown says. We feel the same way. Yes, a lot of thought goes into building and maintaining trails but it’s really about how they breathe life back into you; that is the magic. And that’s our focus at Arkansas State Parks. #ARStateParks

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President to Sign LWCF Bill

Kellie Lunney, E&E News reporterPublished: Tuesday, March 12, 2019

President Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget recommends essentially zeroing out the beloved Land and Water Conservation Fund — a program that he will permanently reauthorize today in a much-anticipated White House signing ceremony for the broad public lands package.

The budget request would provide roughly $8 million in new funding to the federal portion of LWCF, but it also recommends a $31 million rescission from already appropriated funds.

That translates into a proposed clawback of about $23.45 million, which ultimately means a less-than-zero administration proposal for the 54-year-old land and water conservation program in fiscal 2020.

The omnibus spending bill that Trump signed into law last month gave LWCF $435 million for fiscal 2019.

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Job Opportunity – MI – Departmental Analyst, Recreation Trail Specialist

Job Description

Position is responsible for coordination of recreation trails programs such as Snowmobile, ORV, Rail Trails, Equestrian Trails, Pathways and other trail programs that are administered by Parks and Recreation Division. The person will coordinate the implementation and operation of these programs over large geographical area to include the entire Cadillac District and various adjacent counties. This position will work cooperatively with local units of government, user groups, as well as other agencies on PRD related trail issues. This position will need to have an understanding of GIS and other computer based programs and be able to handle several county land reviews as it relates to the impact on state designated trails.

More Details ..

 

VT – Stone Hut on Mt. Mansfield Set to Re-open December 1, 2016

OCT 19, 2016

Lottery, with some changes, to be held November 16th

Near the top of Mount Mansfield, reconstruction of the historic Stone Hut is nearing completion. Barring any last minute construction issues, the Hut will be open to overnight guests again starting December 1, 2016.

The hut was closed to visitors after a fire on Christmas Eve, 2015, destroyed most of the building.

Through the efforts of the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation (FPR), and funding received through Vermont Parks Forever, the non-profit foundation supporting the parks, rebuilding the Stone Hut was fast-tracked so that visitors would be able to return this season.

“We are so grateful for the incredible outpouring of support,” said Michael Snyder, the commissioner of FPR. “Everywhere I went people would tell me about their special Stone Hut experiences. Then they would offer to help in any way they could, either by donating supplies or labor, or offering financial support. It was amazing – and a testament to its importance in peoples’ lives.”

Construction began on the new Stone Hut mid-summer and is expected to be completed by November 1. “The structure wasn’t a total loss. The original stones were salvaged and used in the new building. We worked closely with historic preservation and our architect to re-create the hut as close to the original as possible, while incorporating new upgrades to meet new code and safety standards,” said Susan Bulmer, Parks Regional Manager.

Reservations for the Stone Hut are assigned by lottery and reservation requests are being accepted now through November 14. There will be two rounds of lottery:  the first for only those individuals who had confirmed reservations for last season but were unable to use them due to the fire. After those have been processed, then the regular lottery will be held. New this year, is that there will no longer be preference given to those requesting the longest stays. All requests will be considered equally and selected at random. After the second-round lottery, any remaining nights can be reserved on a first-come/first-served basis via telephone.

More information about the Stone Hut, including detailed reservation procedures can be found at www.vtstateparks.com

NRPA – Americans Engagement with Parks Survey

 

The vast offerings of the local park and recreation agency improve the lives of people throughout our nation. From the fact that Americans on average visit their local park and recreation facilities approximately 29 times a year to the majority of Americans identifying parks and recreation as an important service provided by their local government, the general public is an untapped advocate to spread the public park and recreation story.

This annual study probes Americans’ usage of parks, the key reasons that drive their use and the greatest challenges preventing greater usage. Each year, the study probes the importance of public parks in Americans’ lives, including how parks compare to other services and offerings of local governments. The survey of 1,000 American adults looks at frequency and drivers of parks/recreation facilities visits and the barriers to that prevent greater enjoyment. Survey respondents also indicate the importance of park and recreation plays in their decisions at the voting booth and their level of support for greater funding.

Read the Report

Key Findings

  • Americans on average visit their local park and recreation facilities approximately 29 times a year, with 3 in 5 saying their most recent visit was within the past month.
  • Three in four Americans agree that the NRPA Three Pillars of Conservation, Health and Wellness, and Social Equity represent what they see as the priorities for their local park and recreation agency.
  • Nine in 10 Americans agree that parks and recreation are important services delivered by their local government.
  • Seven in 10 Americans say they are more likely to vote for local politicians who make park and recreation funding a priority.
  • Three-quarters of Americans support increased local government spending for park and recreation agencies with solid support for a nearly 30 percent increase in funding for local park and recreation agencies.

AL – Amendment 2 could introduce new era for AL State Park’s system

(Source: Alabama Department of Conservation)
(Source: Alabama Department of Conservation)
  • MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) –A vote on November’s ballot could change the Alabama State Park’s financial outlook for the foreseeable future.

    Amendment 2 would allow the state park system to keep the money it generates. This has not been the case in the past, as state lawmakers have transferred money out of the park system to shore up other issues in the state’s general fund.

    These transfers, coupled with last year’s budget cuts, helped lead to the closing of five state parks across the state. All five parks have since reopened thanks to deals with the local communities or a managing company.

    However, by keeping the money the parks generate, State Park Director Greg Lein says the state can “invest” in its parks instead of having to worry about their budget year-to-year.

    There is some concern the amendment could further limit the state’s flexibility when it comes to solving budget issues. Almost all revenue coming into the state is already earmarked to a certain program. These earmarks hurt Alabama’s ability to fund the growing costs of state agencies, such as Medicaid.

     

SC – State parks plan food drive Saturday

South Carolina’s 47 state parks will unite on a common project Saturday, one designed to help people in need.

As part of the park service’s Hunger Takes No Vacation food drive, state parks throughout South Carolina will ask visitors to Pack A Park Truck with food.

Donations of canned goods and other nonperishable items will be collected Saturday, kicking off a five-month collaboration with the South Carolina Food Bank Association.

The goal for Saturday is to fill park truck with unopened, nonperishable food items and to raise awareness about the year-round struggle with hunger. The parks will donate all contributions to local food banks.

“We’re inviting our local communities, as well as people who are camping with us, staying with us in cabins, simply visiting for the day, or vacationing nearby to help us fill these park trucks with donations that can help feed the needy and hungry,” said Duane Parrish, South Carolina parks, recreation and tourism director.

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IN – James Alexander Thom on the Indiana State Parks Centennial

The parks turn 100 this month, an anniversary worth celebrating for all Hoosiers—especially me.

As old coots like to do, my friend Alan Garinger and I often lamented the loss of the beautiful places we had known. He joked once as we walked along through urban sprawl on neon-lit asphalt, “My dream is to live long enough to see a strip mall rezoned ‘agricultural.’” Alan—an author who was the force behind the Midwest Writers Workshop where I taught now and then—didn’t live that long, rest his soul. I haven’t seen it happen, either. There aren’t many places where a Hoosier native my age can look around and see the same unspoiled natural beauty he first witnessed through a child’s eyes 80 years ago. But there are the Indiana State Parks.

James Alexander Thom admires the McCormick's Creek gatehouse.
James Alexander Thom admires the McCormick’s Creek gatehouse.

PHOTO BY TONY VALAINIS

After all this time, I can still climb down those old steps in the McCormick’s Creek cliff-side, into the mossy limestone sound chamber where the waterfall plays its trickling, gurgling song. I can still pause among the ferns in the deep silence of a sandstone chasm at Turkey Run, marveling at the sculptural skills of Time and Water. I can still go up to the Indiana Dunes, those steep, golden slopes at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, where I once raced downhill with long, reckless strides so my bare feet wouldn’t be burned by the sun-heated sand before I plunged into the cool surf.

I can’t run like that anymore—I’m not what I used to be. But that place is exactly what it used to be because it’s a state park and has been protected. Today’s giggling tykes can careen down those slopes, feeling that same exhilaration I did when I was young.

May children in every future generation get to experience it. There is nothing, I’m sure, on any iPad or smartphone to compare. A child’s body, stoked with pure animal energy, barrels through a world of natural stimulations: hot sun, soft sand, wind in the ears and hair, vertigo, gull calls, wind-combed grasses, the sheer joy of exertion, the smell of campfire cooking. How can a handful of pixels compete with that?

I’ve spent half my life with Native Americans, a diverse group of people I got involved with while researching my historical novels about the frontier. Native Americans acted as if all of the land they lived on was a park. Their agreement with the Creator was that they could stay there if they ruined nothing and kept the campsite clean. They never dreamed of selling God-given resources for money. The fields and forests were beautiful places to pitch camp, and the tribes enjoyed and benefited from them, even though they didn’t own them. To those indigenous folk, the Earth was the people’s commons, meaning everyone’s place. Europeans came here with a different belief: that they could own land, and keep everybody else off. Their idea of a commons was, say, the town square or the parade ground. Whatever they chose to name those public spaces, they weren’t very big compared with all the private property. The newcomers felt they could profit from the land any way they wanted, even if they ruined it. And they often did.

The Indiana State Parks are the closest thing we have to a commons these days. Credit for the idea goes to a few visionaries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Muir (who spent some time in Indiana) proposed the national parks, and gained support from President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid outdoorsman. To get the same concept going here, we needed Richard Lieber, an immigrant from Germany who became a business and civic leader in Indianapolis. Lieber had the idea of marking Indiana’s statehood centennial in 1916 by establishing at least one protected park for the public. He got two done that year: McCormick’s Creek in Owen County (dedicated on July 4, 1916) and Turkey Run in Parke County a few months later.

Nearly 100 years ago, Civilian Conservation Corps workers build the McCormick's Creek gatehouse.
Nearly 100 years ago, Civilian Conservation Corps workers build the McCormick’s Creek gatehouse.

PHOTO COURTESY OF INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Lieber believed that people needed havens in nature. Work was really work in those days, and wholesome recreation was hard to find. He had the shrewdness to foresee that citizens near state park locations would favor them more if they had a stake in them, and that there would be less resistance to the idea if the protected areas supported themselves with users’ fees. He brought civic leaders and newspaper writers from nearby communities together and infected them with his enthusiasm. Residents of my native Owen County, for example, raised 25 percent of the $5,250 purchase price of the John McCormick farm, which became the first state park. About the same time, a reporter named Juliet Strauss began writing in favor of preserving the great trees and beautiful chasms of Turkey Run. That land was bought in the nick of time from a wood veneer company.

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