Staff Spotlight, John McKenzie

A photo of John McKenzie

John McKenzie, Environmental Specialist 

John McKenzie, or Mac as his co-workers and friends know him, is the environmental specialist at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park and is most at home when he is outdoors helping restore Florida’s natural habitats.

Prior to coming to Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Mac worked for 23 years in the Panhandle at District 1 of the Florida Park Service, serving as the district burn coordinator/fire management officer and as a district biologist. Mac is proud to have assisted with resource management activities during that tenure, including being part of the team to design and implement the largest longleaf pine and wiregrass ecosystem reconstruction project in Florida Park Service history.

Mac transferred to Pumpkin Hill in 2020 to take on the challenge of restoring and preserving one of the last remaining large tracts of biodiverse uplands in Jacksonville. The greater Talbot Islands State Parks team is actively improving the park through habitat restoration projects, reforestation efforts and the safe application of prescribed burning.

Pumpkin Hill’s extensive trail system is a great way to experience the park’s ecological diversity including sweeping vistas where birds of prey such as bald eagles, ospreys, and red-tailed hawks are frequently encountered. The fall months are particularly enjoyable with cooler weather and wildflowers blooming in response to prescribed burns conducted earlier in the year.  

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