Staff Spotlight: Rebecca Grau
What is your role? I coordinate the Membership and volunteer programs at The Parklands.
What inspired you to come to work every day? Every day I hear from visitors, Members and volunteers about how much they love and appreciate The Parklands. For them, The Parklands is a place of discovery, restoration, and connection. Often folks share their stories, such as how the parks have helped them recover from illness, tales of adventure on the fork during their childhood or how their fitness levels have improved.
Which trail would you recommend to visitors and why? Gosh, do I have to pick just one? The Big Beech Trail in Pope Lick Park is the trail I walk most often because it is near my office at the Parklands Administration Building. The Big Beech Trail is the perfect place to explore, soak up some natural beauty and get in a workout.
What “hidden gem” would you recommend to visitors and why? One of my favorite places in The Parklands is the field behind the Ben Stout House in Turkey Run Park. For me, this spot brings together many of the elements of what makes The Parklands a special place. Visitors get a sense of the past, present, and future within a few steps. To enter the field, you walk past a historic homestead, a silo painted yellow (a nod to the agrarian roots of this area) and an informative modern trail kiosk. Floyds Fork hugs this field and visitors can see the remnants of stonewalls build by farmers in the past to fortify the banks (and change the course of the fork) to protect this fertile ground. More recently, The Parklands has planted over nearly 30,000 trees in the area – a mix of several oak species, pecan, walnut, and cherry. I love to look at this field and imagine the forest it will become.
Fields behind Ben Stout House in Turkey Run Park.
This field is a place for epic landscape photography. The color contrasts between the grasses, wildflowers, new trees in the fields and the stacked hills in the distance are inspiring across the seasons. There are a few well-placed rocks on the path – a perfect place to reflect.