Staff Spotlight, Garin Nopp
Park Ranger, Garin Nopp
Hailing from Salem Oregon, Garin moved with his family to the Florida Keys to enjoy the beautiful weather and world class fishing. Upon arriving in the Keys, Garin worked as a commercial fisherman and first mate on a fishing charter; however, he became interested in the Florida Park Service after meeting park rangers at an outreach event.
That conversation led Garin to wonder what it would be like to work in the state parks and he sought a position with the Islamorada Area State Parks, which include Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, Indian Key Historic State Park, Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park and the San Pedro Archaeological Preserve State Park.
Garin is a whiz at fixing things. Whenever a piece of machinery is not working, Garin is able to troubleshoot and get the broken items working again. He said he enjoys the challenge of “solving problems and at the end of the day walking away knowing that I have left the park a little better than before.”
While it is hard to pick a favorite park, Garin said he loves working on Lignumvitae Key. “I love the water and starting your day with a boat ride to the island cannot be beat.” While working on Lignumvitae Key, he enjoys showing off the historic home and the multitude of fish that congregate under the dock.
His advice to visitors in the Keys is to “get outside and enjoy the wonderful state parks that we have in the Islamorada area. Whether you are into geology, history or nature, our parks have something for everyone.”