2020 Public Service Award
Public Service Award
Wilburt Gilliam has earned the Public Service Award for his years of contributions at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in maintenance, visitor service, park protection, and in natural and cultural resource management. Wilburt worked 24 years for the Florida Park Service, all at Maclay Gardens, before he retired in 2018. He worked as a park attendant and was promoted to park ranger in the 1980s.
In 2019, he came back to work for the Department of Environmental Protection. He was first employed in the Bureau of Design and Construction, which was housed at Maclay Gardens at the time. He then joined the team again at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park as the maintenance mechanic.
Wilburt Gilliam is related to Ike Gilliam, who lived in a house located on park property. That house still stands in the park today and is the home to the Florida Public Archaeological Network. Wilburt often visited there as a child and young man. Ike worked for the Maclay family in the gardens and Ike's father was Mr. Maclay's butler. Wilburt continued on with the family tradition and devoted his life to this park.
Wilburt' s accomplishments include saving the park thousands of dollars by repairing heavy equipment, small motors and vehicles as well as hundreds of building repairs or more over the years. One such job included welding back together a tractor arm that had sheared in half.
Wilburt has improved staff skill sets by training them on how to weld, on carpentry skills, on electrical and plumbing skills, and on the maintenance of historical buildings. He has also been a mentor to younger rangers.
There likely has not been an employee who has been more dedicated to the care and maintenance of the parks and grounds. No one knows the park better. The saying at the park is "If Wilburt can't fix it, it ain't broke."
The Public Service Award recognizes employees who in their everyday job performance exemplify the Florida Park Service image of service to the public (an attitude of friendliness and cheerful public service) during the previous year.