Bob's years of experience are particularly relevant to our Park. For example, Bob and his team of rangers and volunteers eradicated nearly all of the invasive plants from Delnor-Wiggins and restored much of the park's native landscape. At Lovers Key he will apply his expertise to removing Australian Pine seedlings, Brazilian Pepper, and Ear Leaf Acacia from the landscape.
As is the case at Lovers Key, Delnor-Wiggins' beautiful beaches have faced being “loved to death.” Bob and his team worked with the community to improve access for visitors while protecting wildlife and habitat, and he'll bring lessons learned to his new position here. Leadership for the FOLKS is among Bob's new responsibilities, and it is clear that he'll add important insights for protecting, preserving, and supporting the Park.
Bob, a Florida native, was born in St. Petersburg. “Growing up,” Bob said, “I watched developments swell and the dredging going on. I felt a need to protect the resources we had.” Bob adds, "As Park Manager…we’re preserving Florida for future generations. I have a granddaughter who will get to reap the benefits of what we do now." Bob enjoys meeting people with the same mind set, "people who are environmentally minded," he says. "I love the natural world!”
Early in his life, Bob felt that if he joined the Park Service, he would learn about the nature of Florida. While fishing one day, Bob met two rangers from Hillsborough River State Park who influenced that decision. At that time, 33 years ago in 1983, he started to volunteer at Weeden Island State Preserve. After 12 Park Ranger interviews in various parks around the State, Bob was hired for as a Park Ranger/ Law Enforcement Ranger at Honeymoon Island State Park.
He also spent time as Assistant Park Manager at Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach, and Anastasia Island State Park in St. Augustine. From there he was promoted to Park Manager at Paynes Creek State Historic Site on the Peace River. He came to the Lee Island Coast as Manager of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in 1994.