Staff Spotlight, Fred Provost
Park Services Specialist, Fred Provost
If you’ve ever spoken with the ranger at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, you’d know pretty quick 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 is able to present various educational programs for visitors. These interpretive moments can range from power point talks, to ranger led hikes, to a spontaneous question and answer session with guests in the park. While Fred is interactive with people of all ages, 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. These include hiking, biking, 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 stated his career with the Florida Park Service in January of 2008 and has been ta ranger at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park since December of 2015. As a 1994 Walton High School graduate, Ponce de Leon Springs was a favorite summer time recreation spot. He has many happy memories of his visits there and accepting the position was like coming home. 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’s been active within the local community, including partnering with Holmes County to hold an annual 5k off road race on the new trails.