Thursday, February 18, 2016

Chuck Hatcher named to key State Parks post

Chuck Hatcher
New Assistant Director of Florida State Parks
Photo courtesy of Patte Hatcher
Jackson County's Director of Parks & Recycling has been named Assistant Director of Florida State Parks.

Chuck Hatcher, a Dellwood resident, will be leaving for his new position on March 7th after a remarkable 10 years of service to the people and visitors of Jackson County. He began his work with the county on September 26, 2006.

Hatcher will be supervising day to day operations for all 174 of Florida's state parks. Stretching from the Keys to the Perdido, the system's lands include hundreds of thousands of acres of some of the most pristine, historic and ecologically significant places in the state.

In a phone conversation this morning, he told me that he will miss his role in Jackson County. "I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish in Jackson County," he said. "We are a rural county but we have done some major development in the areas of parks and recreation."

It was a modest understatement. During his tenure at the head of Jackson County's park system, Hatcher has supervised dramatic improvements in facilities and park operations. Visitation to Blue Springs alone has skyrocketed and now pays for the county's entire parks effort. In addition to noted and visible improvements at Blue Springs, he has also supervised an upswing in cleanliness and use of parks and recreation sites from one side of the county to the other.

Chuck Hatcher at Bellamy Bridge
I had the opportunity to work closely with Chuck in the realization of our dream to see Bellamy Bridge once again open to the public. Without spending a single dime of property tax money, we designed, funded and developed the new Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail on Highway 162. The one-half mile nature trail leads to the historic bridge and has been visited by thousands of people in just a few short years.

Chuck has also been instrumental in securing funding for boat ramps, boardwalks, the new Jackson County Greenway on the Chipola River and improving the quality of the county-maintained parks along Lake Seminole. His key accomplishments are bringing tourists to our area in growing numbers while also benefiting the citizens of Jackson County on a daily basis.

Chuck and his wife of many years Patte reside in downtown Dellwood. They have two highly accomplished daughters. The entire family has been visible and active in Jackson County for many years and will remain so after he transitions to his new position.

Congratulations to a long-time friend!


1 comment:

Roy Baker said...

Yes, the State's gain is our loss. Chuck also was a team leader on many other civic events for our County, such as the Arts /BBQ Festival, each summer's Thursday Night free music events, and Main Street Marianna.

Congratulations on a well deserved promotion for Chuck.