Staff Spotlight, Fred Provost
Park Services Specialist, Fred Provost
When you speak with the ranger at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, you know pretty quickly that Fred Provost loves his job.
Being a park ranger is a perfect fit for Fred. In fact one of the suggestions from his high school employment aptitude test was park ranger, although it took him over a decade to try out the recommendation. Not that the years leading up to joining the Florida Park Service were wasted. Fred has been employed in a variety of fields including janitorial, construction, facility maintenance, retail and various other customer service jobs. All of this helped provide him with the skills needed to be a productive park ranger.
Fred especially enjoys working with the public, and as part of his job Fred presents various educational programs for visitors. These interpretive moments can range from PowerPoint talks, to ranger-led hikes, to a spontaneous question and answer session with guests in the park. Fred interacts with people of all ages, but he goes out of his way to ensure the younger ones have a positive experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. This often results in him being referred to as the “silly ranger,” but he’s OK with that.
Fred and his wife, Mae, spend their free time doing outdoor recreational activities, including include hiking, biking, and swimming (all which can be done in their “back yard” state park), as well as kayaking, scuba diving and camping. These experiences have come in handy when visitors are looking for information about additional things to do in the region.
Fred started his career with the Florida Park Service in 2008 and has been a ranger at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park since 2015. He has a goal of leaving his mark on the park and he’s well on his way to accomplishing that goal. Fred has been working to add several miles of multi-use trails to the park. He also has been active within the local community, including partnering with Holmes County to hold an annual 5k off-road race on the new trails.