The Parklands

Staff Spotlight: Mark Wilson

Name: Mark Wilson

Title: Park Superintendent

Team: Park Operations

What is your role at The Parklands?

I like to explain my job mostly by names: Orchestra Conductor, Dispatcher, Communicator, Coach, HR Director, Horticulturalist, Turf Manager, and, finally, Problem Solver.

How does your team keep The Parklands:

  • Safe – We keep park visitors from harm’s way whether it’s a flood or snow event, and by providing a presence in the park.
  • Clean – We treat the park like it’s our home.
  • Fun – We maintain spraygrounds, playgrounds, trails, creek accesses and picnic facilities.
  • Beautiful – We enhance the park’s natural beauty while maintaining its architectural integrity. 

What are you most proud of in your work?

Opening a park or just riding through the park on a busy day and asking, “What were they doing before The Parklands was here?” Also providing opportunities for our operations staff to do what they love to do.

What inspires you to come to work every day?

Thinking about 100 years from now—knowing what Cherokee Park is to my generation and what The Parklands will be to our great grandchildren.

Which trail would you recommend to visitors and why?

Limestone Gorge because I have a personal connection to the trail, having originally helped flag it out. I believe it runs through the best woods in The Parklands and features diverse terrain.

What “hidden gem” would you recommend to visitors and why?

A walk to the Humana Grand Allee wetlands to enjoy the ducks.

In your opinion, what makes The Parklands worthy of support?

The Parklands is everyone’s common ground or country club. Being a donor-supported park, we are able to put maintenance first. We’re only in the park business, so the park is our priority.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about donating?

Watch the trees mature and enjoy the wildlife as well as a family having a picnic and hiking to the creek. The Parklands offers you many ways to become part of it. Thank You!

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