Staff Spotlight, Andy Walsh

A man in a green uniform shirt smiles at the camera

Park Ranger, Andy Walsh

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park

Andy Walsh is a park ranger because he believes that his work to preserve and protect our natural and cultural resources is the best way to give back to his community. A Citrus County native, Andy grew up taking in every part of nature that he could – hunting on local lands, fishing along the banks of the Withlacoochee River and boating through the coastal salt marshes. Also a park ranger for Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, he’s always had a fascination with Florida’s springs and a life-long love of swimming and snorkeling in their ice-cold waters during the heat of summer. Below the springs’ surface, Andy has a great appreciation for the silence and solitude that this natural landscape provides, giving him a chance to “see what he can see and hear what he can hear.”

When tending to Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park, Andy’s welcoming personality shines as he shares historical information about the ruins and local details with visitors passing through. One of his favorite conversations with visitors is about the oranges growing at the site. Perfectly spherical, bright orange fruits dangle tantalizingly from several lush green trees around the area. Andy will caution you that while they look like a juicy treat, these oranges are sourer than a lemon and are not edible.

Getting to meet people from all over the world, interesting people that ask challenging questions, is what Andy truly enjoys here. In addition to talking with visitors, he is also proud of helping to maintain the grounds of this important site and making it enjoyable for all.

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