2020 Distinguished Service Award

Mark Ludlow

Mark Ludlow

Distinguished Service Award

For over 10 years, Mark Ludlow has coordinated and advanced one of the largest longleaf pine and wiregrass restoration projects in the Southeast United States, overseeing the steady conversion of sand pine plantation back to native sandhill natural community. This multi-year project, one of the first of its kind in scale, is on schedule for completion in Fiscal Year 2023.

Each year, Mark organizes the Torreya State Park, Sweetwater Restoration Working Group to develop and implement annual restoration objectives. As an example of his annual contributions, his efforts over the past year included overseeing the sale of 760 acres of off-site timber, flattening of windrows, site cleanup, prescribed burning of over 700 acres of wiregrass donor sites, annual fall harvest of wiregrass, wiregrass processing/cleaning/planting, and planting of longleaf pine seedlings.

To date, nearly 3,700 acres of sandhill have been restored by planting wiregrass and longleaf pine seedlings. Mark has been the driving force behind much of the work to make this happen.

Mark has been a devoted employee, mentoring numerous Florida Park Service personnel throughout his 34-year career.

Three Rivers State Park manager Phil Spyckaboer said, "I have only had the pleasure of working in District 1 for just over two years, and in that time Mark has reached out to me and shared skills he has perfected and assisted us in completing complicated tasks that required his technical skills. The impression Mark has had on me in the short time I have known him is one of integrity and genuine fellowship in the park service family. I am certain Mark has had the same impression on many others."

The significant contributions of Mark throughout his career are most deserving of recognition with a Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service Award is awarded annually to recognize contributions that require a high degree of personal initiative, professionalism, leadership, effort or skill; must represent a significant benefit to the division; and must be made on a voluntary or special assignment basis completely above and beyond the requirements of the employee's position description.

2020 Florida State Parks Division Award Winners

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